MILTON – The annual meeting of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association
(NHTOA) was held on June 3 at Star Lake Farm in Springfield, N.H. Each year part of the
program includes recognizing noteworthy timberland owners and members of the forest products
community. The first Isobel Parke Award for recognition of achievements by women in the forest
products community went to Cynthia Wyatt of Milton.
This award is named for Isobel Parke who served on the board of directors of NHTOA, was the
first woman president of the NHTOA, developed the NHTOA’s logo, received the Kendall
Norcott Award in 2000, was instrumental in establishing the Granite State Woodland Institute,
the NHTOA’s 501(c)(3) education not-for-profit, and generously supported the NHTOA
financially, including giving a legacy when she died. Parke also was New Hampshire’s
Outstanding 2002 Tree Farmer of the Year.
Recipients of this award are recognized for their commitment to practicing thoughtful forest
management and stewardship of the land, educating fellow landowners and the general public
about the importance of the forest products industry to the state of New Hampshire, and
mentoring women in the forest products industry.
Cynthia Wyatt’s interest in forestry is inherited. Her father, Carl Siemon, spent his professional
life in Connecticut, but grew up spending time at his grandparents’ farm in Milton, N.H. In 1962
he purchased the last 3 acres of the farm from their estate and proceeded to reacquire the
original acreage. In 1991 his daughter moved to New Hampshire just as he donated the
development rights to 1,500 acres to the Forest Society. She attended the celebration of the
donation and, to put it mildly, got interested in land conservation.
In 1995 she and her father created Branch Hill Farm, a private foundation to oversee the land. In
2000 Cynthia created the Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG), primarily because
the Bear Paw Regional Greenways could not add Branch Hill’s 3,000 acreages to their
stewardship. Her father passed away in 2001, but Cynthia went on to serve as director of the
MMRG until 2020, but she is still chair of the board of Branch Hill Farm. MMRG and Branch
Hill Farm collaborate to offer educational programs. Recently, they held one called “From Forest
to Frame,” during which they harvested wood, milled it, and erected a pole barn.
Cynthia is the mother of adult twins. Her daughter lives in Toronto with her family. Her son grew
up helping his grandfather with conservation projects on the farm. He plans to retire early, and
like his mother, move from Connecticut to New Hampshire to carry on the land conservation
tradition. She and her family have been members and strong supporters of NHTOA for over 25
Cutline – Cynthia Wyatt of Branch Hill Farm in Milton received from NHTOA the first Isobel
Parke Award for recognition of achievements by women in the forest products community.