NH Audubon elects Doug Bechtel to serve as new president

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Doug Bechtel
Doug Bechtel

MANCHESTER, NH – Douglas A. Bechtel, a longtime advocate for New Hampshire’s natural and wildlife resources, has been elected to serve as President of NH Audubon.

“We are very pleased to have Doug’s long experience in conservation leadership, knowledge of land and water conservation, non-profit staff management and his financial acumen,” Board Chair David Ries said, adding that the new President is scheduled to begin on June 20.

Bechtel is a seasoned environmental professional and no stranger to the NH conservation landscape. He served the New Hampshire Chapter of the Nature Conservancy in various roles for 15 years, primarily as the Director of Conservation Science where he focused on conservation planning, aquatic and terrestrial wildlife connectivity, climate change resilience, and floodplain forest restoration. He comes to NH Audubon most recently from his role as Executive Director of Audubon International.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to New Hampshire as NHA’s President,” said Bechtel. An avid birder and naturalist, he finds joy in things like helping his five year old daughter add to her list of favorite songbirds. “I have both worked and played in the natural environment in New Hampshire for the majority of my life; these experiences and my deep respect for nature have shaped my nonprofit ethic of environmental service.”

Bechtel is a graduate of Iowa’s Grinnell College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology which he followed up with a master’s degree in the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont.

A natural collaborator, Bechtal served on numerous statewide environmental committees, including the Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, Staying Connected Partnership, NH Invasive Species Committee, and the Wildlife Action Plan review team, among others.

“I love finding common ground among people with diverse backgrounds. New Hampshire residents have few, if any, boundaries when it comes to supporting our natural environment. I hope to forge new relationships with people from across the state to advance and accelerate conservation of our diverse environment,” Bechtel said.

Current President Michael Bartlett, who is retiring after eight years of dedicated service to the organization, supports the Board’s decision wholeheartedly. “I’ve known Doug Bechtel for many years so I can attest to the fact that he brings with him the skill, the talent and the passion NH Audubon needs to launch it into a truly successful second century,” Bartlett shares, referencing NHA’s recent 100-year anniversary.

“I am excited to advance the mission with NHA’s dedicated staff, board, and volunteers,” says Bechtel. “The work of NHA is more crucial than ever, and I hope to explore new and traditional ways to ensure that NH Audubon is a guiding force in wildlife conservation and environmental education for years to come.”

About New Hampshire Audubon

Founded in 1914, New Hampshire Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. New Hampshire Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on New Hampshire Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.

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About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!