Maine Chapter IAT Holds Annual Meeting at Shin Pond

The 2010 Annual Meeting of the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail was held on May, 7, 2010 at Shin Pond Village. As usual, Program Manager Walter Anderson put together an exceptionally fine affair.
Thursday afternoon we all gathered at the Patten Lumberman’s Museum to enjoy a viewing of pictures taken by the great photographer, Bert Call. Call took the pictures around the turn of the 20th Century in the Katahdin area. Frank Spizucco, manager of the Bert Call collection, gave a presentation on Bert Call and how the pictures were being shown throughout the state thanks to a grant by the Quimby Family Foundation. The photographs will remain on display at the Patten LUMBERMAN’S Museum through June.
The Thursday night speaker was noted author Steve Pinkham who gave a wonderful presentation about his new book, MOUNTAINS OF MAINE, and the intriguing insights and stories behind their names. He sold and autographed all the books he had brought with him. The book can be ordered from ($16.95) and is well worth the money for all those who love to learn about how places got their names. Steve has hiked all the one hundred highest mountains in New England.

Steve Pinkham with IAT Maine Chapter Vice President, Torrey Sylvester
The program on Friday was composed of many experts who gave presentations on a broad range of subjects of interest to outdoor orientated people.
The Annual Meeting saw the approval of last year’s meeting minutes and a report on the financial health of the organization by Treasurer Bob LeMieux in which he pointed out that we ended last year with a small surplus. Board member, Herb Hartman led a discussing on some minor proposed changes in our By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation. These changes had already been approved by the Board of Directors and were approved by the members attending the meeting. Torrey Sylvester gave the report of the Nominating Committee. All the existing directors were elected to serve another one-year term. At the short directors’ meeting following the members’ meeting Torrey presented the slate of officers and the existing officers were elected to serve for another one-year term.
After a lively social hour and a wonderful dinner, we were all treated to a very special presentation. Thomas Urquhart, a Maine Chapter Board member, somehow convinced a friend, the journalist and best-selling author of many books, Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, Krakatoa, The Meaning of Everything, The Man Who Loved China, A crack in the Edge of the World), to be our evening speaker. Mr. Winchester has just finished a new book, Atlantic, the Biography of an Ocean, and kept us spellbound describing the book and some of his adventures. Many members brought copies of their Simon Winchester books with them and he graciously signed them all. Atlantic will not be for sale until the fall, but we are excited to have the opportunity to read it, now we have had the chance to meet the charming and generous Mr. Winchester, who plans to return to Maine and climb Katahdin.

Simon Winchester with IAT Board member, Walter Anderson
The dates were chosen for next year’s meeting: May, 12, 13 and 14, 2011. We all hope to see you all then.

Jack Spiegel, Maine Chapter Board Member has passed away

ack Spiegel, a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Chapter IAT died on Saturday April 24. Jack was 92 years old and had been a Board member for several years. He was a significant financial contributor to our success. He was a really good friend of Dick Anderson’s. Dick delivered a eulogy at his memorial(see below). He will be missed by all the members of the Maine Chapter Board.
Jack Spiegel was quite a guy. I remember him from the 60’s—and I am sure some of you do—when he drove around Portland with some kind of a plastic Indian attached to the top of his station wagon. The Indian was Quoddy, I guess.
He was a very successful buisnessman , but he did a lot of other wonderful things.
I actually never met him until 1987 when I was introduced to him by some of his friends. At that time we were trying to convince Jack to contribute to the caribou reintroduction project.
After lunch that day Jack asked me if I would meet with him to talk about a piece of land that he owned in the Town of Raymond. We met for lunch shortly after that and the first question I asked him was how many acres he owned in Raymond. To my absolute amazement —Jack answered —OH—about twelve hundred acres—I think. That was the beginning of a lot of great adventures with Jack.
That twelve hundred acre parcel, which Jack bought after it had been clearcut in the 1950’s, had been nursed back to a productive forest by Jack. Working with state and private foresters over 35 years, Jack turned this devastated forestland into a productive woodlot — inhabited by an abundant wildlife population. Jack and I spent several years trying to find ways to preserve this exceptional piece of forestland and in the end Jack and Anne decided that the whole area should be preserved as a state wildlife management area. It took a few years to work through that complicated process, but –thanks to a very large contribution by Jack—the area was sold to the state. It is now known officially as the Morgan Meadow Wildlife Management Area and is carefully managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for open public use, timber management and as productive wildlife habitat. Jack continued to work with the Department to assist in the management and expansion of the area right up until his death. He funded forestry work, public recreational development and expansion research. In the last year alone more than 120,000 dollars worth of timber has been harvested from Morgan Meadow—a tribute to Jack’s long time and careful management of the area.
As a result of the expansion research—funded by Jack—the area has been expanded by over 300 acres in the last two years.
I workedwith Jack, and his brothers, on finding productive uses for several other large pieces of land. The most satisfying of those was the 150 acre parcel that Jack and Anne donated to the State of Maine in the Town of Pownal. The forest on that parcel had been well managed by Jack for many years. The parcel abutted Bradbury Mountain State Park and one day Jack and Anne decided to donate it to the State as a large addition to the State park. The land now is an integral part of the Park and containes many miles of hiking and mountain bike trails.
Jack was a Board member of the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail at the time of his death. I remember that we had a 90th birthday party for him when his birthday coincided with a Board meeting.
His contributions to that organization funded significant improvements in the functioning of that organization.
Jack was not an outdoor person—he never hiked, hunted or fished—but he really enjoyed taking care of the land parcels he owned. He was always supportive of projects that would improve his lands and make them better for public uses and more productive.
I loved working with Jack. He was always energized, he always had an idea,he was always cheerfull and he was always thinking of the public good.
His generous spirit and his energy will continue to inspire all who knew him—including me.
Jack had a great –and long –life.
He accomplished many things that will be of great benefit to future generations.
We all thank you Jack