Property Rights Foundation of America®

53. Northern Forest Center
(Latest update 2001)

P. O. Box 210
Concord, NH 03302

(603) 229-0679
Fax: (603) 229-1719

Web site:

Key Personnel

Steve Blackmer, President
Mike Wilson, Program director
Laura Tam, Program associate, Outreach consultant


(not available)


Income: $226,478 (1998)
Assets: $142,546 (1998)
Files an IRS 990

Coalition Involvements

Steve Blackmer was formerly with the Northern Forest Alliance and associated with the Appalachian Mountain Club.

In the newsletter and on the web site, NFC speaks admiringly of and/or has articles about:

Adirondack North Country Association
Adirondack Life
Appalachian Mountain Club
Association for Protection of the Adirondacks
Businesses for the Northern Forest
Maine Forest Biodiversity Project
Maine Folklife Center
[The] Maine Times
Mountain Counties Heritage Program
National Network of Forest Practitioners (meeting hosted by Federation of
Southern Cooperatives and Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition,
Red Top Mountain State Park, Cartersville, Georgia, Thomas Brendler, (617) 338-7821)
Native Trails, Inc.-canoe routes and other "early travel routes" including
those in Mexico and Guatemala
Northern Appalachian Restoration Project
Northern Sustainable Communities Network
Northern Woodlands (Publishes Northern Woodlands, PO Box 471, Corinth, VT 05039
Katahdin Regional Development Council.

Contributions acknowledged publicly from:

American Conservation Association (Rockefeller charity)
Patricia Chernoff Charitable Trust
Conservation Technology Support Program
Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust (connected to Wall St. Journal?)
Davis Conservation Foundation
French Foundation
Fund for Folk Culture
Merck Family Fund
Moriah Fund
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Rockefeller Collaborative
Sudbury Foundation
Switzer Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation
Surdna Foundation

Organizational Description and Goals

Steve Blackmer founded the Northern Forest Center in 1997 "to help build a healthy and productive future for the Northern Forest and its people by strengthening citizen leadership and regional collaboration."

NFC states that "The Northern Forest is the largest intact forest remaining in the eastern United States.

Blackmer wrote that NFC was needed because "the debate about the future of the region was lacking three critical pieces. First, we weren't thinking enough about how people's lives are affected by changed in the region, and what people want for their future. Second, we weren't celebrating and building on the range of interests that shape and define the Northern Forest—its history, heritage, culture, economy, and communities—as well as the region's ecosystems. Third, there was no regional organization specifically dedicated to bringing people together to find common ground and work together to build a better future."

"The Northern Forest Center works to foster and develop the vitality and regional identity of the Northern Forest. We promote awareness and understanding of community, cultural, environmental, and economic issues in the region and support projects and networks that increase regional collaboration and citizen leadership."


Board of Directors (1999)

Jennifer Melville, Chair by NFC (Treasurer 1998 per IRS)
Charles Clusen, Treasurer
Jacquelyn Tuxill, Secretary
Walter Graff (Secretary 1998 per IRS)
Brendan Whittaker
Bruce Hazard (Dir. Mountain Counties Heritage Program-Oxford, Franklin, Somerset & Piscataquis Counties, Maine)
Stephen D. Blackmer, Ex officio (President 1998 per IRS)


The Regional Identity Project: To increase understanding of the identity of the Northern Forest as a Region; to identify "commonalities in values across the Northern Forest."

Northern Forest Wealth Index: "Understanding Social, Economic and Natural Well-Being." NFC research based on the principle that "the real wealth of the Northern Forest...cannot be judged only by the health and productivity of the forest." The study will create "an accessible set of data addressing the intersection among economic, social and ecological trends in the Northern Forest region."

The index inventories "Community, Culture, Economy, Education, Environmental and Social Capital."

Androscoggin watershed preservation: NFC's July 1999 Androscoggin Source-to-the-Sea Trek was scheduled to be a "floating meeting" of a "new watershed council formed last fall to protect the 167-mile long waterway and its 3,500 square mile watershed."

"Cultural Connections" GIS mapping project and other GIS mapping to "foster discussion among diverse groups about how best to plan for the future of landscapes and resources."

Northern Forest Heritage Park initiative. NFC supports N. H. Senator Judd Gregg's legislation for federal funding of $500,000 toward a Northern Forest heritage Par, whose director is Joan Chamberlain.

Publications and Conference

Northern Forest Connections (Quarterly newsletter, 8 pp.) The newsletter is about the work of the NFC, and also has a calendar of cultural events, including also an announcement about the National Network of Forest Practitioners meeting. The newsletter emphasizes folklore, history, museums, heritage, archiving story and song, Akwesasne basket making and "sustainable" forestry for the "7th generation," and community development.

There is an underlying assumption that the future is dependent not on the natural resource of the forest, but on wealth-creating, globally oriented "community" development with "meaning," providing "good jobs at good wages."

Cultural Connections: Organizations Working with Culture and Heritage in the Northern Forest (publ. 1999 by NFC).

"Ways of the Woods: Culture, Heritage and the Evolving Economy of the Northern Forest" - Conference Nov. 4-5, 1999, historic Eagle Mountain House, Jackson, N. H. One topic announced early was Franco-American culture in the Northern Forest. When the conference was reported in January 2000, a photograph featured traditional music and Native American stories as entertainment.

The web site has a listing of periodicals and books published by others, some available and some out of print, such as "Of Wilderness and Commerce: A Historical Overview of the Northern Forest," by Blackmer (Vermont Law Review, 19(2), 1995); The Northern Forest by Dobbs and Ober (White River Junction: Chelsea Green, 1995); The Future of the Northern Forest by McCrory and Trombulak (Hanover: Univ. Press of New England, 1994); and the Northern Forest Council's Finding Common Ground (1994).

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