Longtime TU volunteer and outgoing trustee Paul Doscher is this year's winner of the prestigious Ray Mortensen Award for Volunteer Leadership, which is given annually to the volunteer who makes and extraordinary contribution to local coldwater fisheries conservation efforts.
Doscher has served TU at every level, volunteering as a chapter leader for his Basil Woods Chapter in his home state of New Hampshire, and on the New Hampshire state council. He served as New Hampshire's representative on the National Leadership Council and he just concluded his service on TU's board of trustees.
In recent years, Paul has helped TU make unparalleled progress in its efforts to protect quality private land containing quality brook trout habitat in the East by engaging land trusts and helping acquire vital easements that will ensure brookies continue to thrive in areas where their persistence is tenuous.
Paul is a former professor of environmental science, and he is the vice president for land conservation at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the state's largest land trust and conservation organization. Through his land trust work, he built a collaboration with TU on a project that culminated in the purchase and protection of the Connecticut River Forest, a 2,100-acre tract with six and a half of river frontage near the headwaters of the Connecticut River. This project is within the area TU has designated for the Upper Connecticut Home Rivers Initiative and this protection project can become part of the HRI plan. The property is located within the area of New Hampshire identified by the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture as containing the highest amount of “intact” eastern brook trout habitat, and this section of the Connecticut River is a nationally renowned recreational fishery.
TU President and CEO embraces Paul Doscher at TU's annual meeting last week in Madison, Wisc. Photos courtesy of Heidi Oberstadt.