UNH Cooperative Extension volunteers are invited to the Great Volunteer Getaway 2021 on Saturday, March 6, 2021, from 4-6 p.m., which will be held virtually through Zoom this year!
Join us to learn about one of the greatest environmental comeback stories in American history: the creation of the White Mountain National Forest.
Many of us have visited or may even live near this special place, but did you know that during the early 20th century this region faced destruction from unregulated logging, wildfires, flooding and erosion?
Before the event on March 6, we encourage all participants to watch “The People’s Forest,” a documentary by David Moore Huntley that details the dramatic story of this resilient land and people who protected it. A link to watch this film online for free will be provided to participants upon registering.
At the virtual getaway we will hear from expert panelists who will help us better understand the environmental, recreational, economic and social aspects of the forest and surrounding region.
Panelists will include:
Susan Arnold — Vice President for Conservation, Appalachian Mountain Club
Susan joined the AMC in May 2003. She coordinates AMC’s overall conservation mission and strategy across the AMC region from Maine to Virginia, overseeing research, conservation and recreation policy, and volunteer relations. Prior to working for AMC, Susan was director of policy for Governor Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire for six years. Susan has worked in Washington, DC for a U.S. senator and as a lobbyist on smoking and health issues. She was an organizer, then political director, for NARAL Pro-Choice NH, a state affiliate of the national organization. Susan lives in New Hampshire with her husband, a dog and two cats, and a daughter who occasionally visits from San Francisco.
Dave Govatski — U.S. Forest Service retiree and Extension volunteer
David worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 33 years until retirement in various positions and locations across the country as a forester, silviculturist and forest fire management officer. He worked for 20 years on the White Mountain National Forest and served as technical advisor for the documentary film “The People’s Forest,” which will be discussed at the Getaway. David has visited all 175 National Forests and National Grasslands located in 41 different states. He has volunteered with UNH Extension for the N.H. Big Trees, Coverts and Speaking for Wildlife programs. He is a past chairman of the UNH Extension Coös County Citizens Advisory Committee and serves on numerous boards and organizations, including the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University, the New Hampshire Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Loon Preservation Committee and other conservation groups.
Michelle Moren-Grey — Executive Director of the North Country Council
Michelle has spent the most recent 10 years of her career working in community and economic development planning with the northernmost regional planning commission and economic development district of New Hampshire. She currently oversees and provides guidance for the Council’s team and organization. As a lifelong resident of the region, she brings experience in natural resource management, outdoor recreation and entrepreneurship to her work with communities. Her past experiences as a Biology Technician for the White Mountain National Forest and long career in the outdoor recreation industry serves to ground her in community work as she strives for a balance between those who live and work in the region and the assets that attract many to the region. In her 11 years with the Council, she has worked in all facets of the organization, from administration and municipal planning to economic/community development and grant writing.
John Marunowski – White Mountain National Forest Public Affairs and Volunteer Coordinator
John started his land management journey shortly after high school when he volunteered for a summer in Olympic National Park as a backcountry ranger. He was hooked and shortly thereafter put himself through a law enforcement academy, which allowed him to work as a seasonal law enforcement ranger at several national parks (Olympic, Glacier, Bryce Canyon and Denali). In search of a permanent career in land management, John made the switch to the Forest Service and has served in various roles from fire prevention technician, recreation technician, wilderness manger, recreation specialist and currently acting as the volunteer / partnership coordinator for the WMNF. John heads up a robust volunteer program, most notably the Trailhead Steward Program – a preventative search and rescue program where volunteers give important safety information to hikers (at the trailhead) before they begin their hike.
The Great Volunteer Getaway is an opportunity for us to celebrate the wonderful work of Extension volunteers and the wondrous state of New Hampshire. We simply could not carry out our work and reach so many Granite Staters without your help. THANK YOU!
Extension volunteers will be e-mailed a registration link for this event. Are you a volunteer but don't receive emails from us? Please contact your volunteer program manager to get added to our all-volunteer e-mail list!