AFP-New Hampshire Honorary Chairman Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson resides in Orford, New Hampshire with his wife Sheila, and their son, Stacey and family are near by. Together the family runs and operates the Thomson Family Tree Farm. The Thomson’s have been managing their 2800 acre forest land with an emphasis on demonstrating to others the true meaning of a “working sustainable forest.” Tom and Sheila’s son, Stacey, began cutting firewood when he was 12 years old. He built up his firewood business over the years and he owns and operates Thomson Timber Harvesting and Trucking, LLC, cutting and hauling wood products for landowners in the Upper Valley area. Tom and Sheila believe that some of the most important benefits of owning forest land are families working together on the land, learning a good work ethic and passing on good land stewardship practices.
Tom grew up on a farm on Mt. Cube in Orford. At the age of eleven he and his brothers purchased a woodlot of 125 acres. They still own and manage the property today. After high school Tom served in the National Guard, then went on to take a graphic arts course. After a short time at his father’s Law Book Publishing Company he worked for eight years at the Hanover Press, a small press in Hanover, New Hampshire owned by the Stinehour Press, known nationally for its quality letterpress printing. In 1975 he returned with his brother, Robb, to run Equity Publishing while his father served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1973 to 1979. Shortly thereafter, Tom became President and Robb Vice President of the family law book publishing company until the business was sold in 1989 to Reed Publishing an International Legal Publisher.
At this point, Tom decided to shed his coat and tie and do what he loved best, promote good forest stewardship. Since then he has been an active advocate in promoting sustainable forestry locally, regionally, nationally and internationally through tours, writing articles, testifying at his state capitol and the US Senate and meeting with and giving talks and slide presentations to International Conservation Professionals.
Tom also believes it is important to share our stories of good land stewardship with appointed and elected officials both at the state and national level and he has done so many times. He challenges other family forest landowners to become more involved as a forest activist; “if we’re not at the table making decisions, then we lose by default.” Elected officials seek Tom’s advice on forestry issues that impact family forest landowners as well as the National State Foresters Association and many other organizations.
Tom prefers working on his tree farm, but he understands the importance of serving the forest community and he has done so by serving as past vice-chair of the Tree Farm National Operating Committee and Chair of the Tree Farm National Policy Committee and has served six years on the National Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB) Resource Committee (Forest Certification) representing Family Forest Landowners throughout the United States. He also serves as regional Vice President for National Woodland Owners Association and is member of the Forest Landowners Association (FLA). He has received numerous state and national forestry awards. Most recently, Tom received the prestigious (FLA) “2005 Forest Landowner of the Year” Award and the 2006 National Arbor Day Foundation “Good Steward Award.” Tom is known in the forestry community as an active, committed forestry advocate for all Family Forest Landowners.
Tom also enjoys gardening (flowers) and photography of nature and wildlife. His most important time is spent starting to teach Jaden, his 6-year old grandson about the forest as they together collect and stack firewood.