NH Audubon Elects New President, Brings Doug Bechtel Back to New Hampshire

Posted on May 17, 2016

The New Hampshire Audubon Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the election of Douglas A. Bechtel as its President to succeed Michael J. Bartlett.

“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,” says Board Chair David Ries, 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 fifteen 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,” Bechtel expresses. 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, Doug 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.”

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.”