CORNISH – 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. This year’s Kendall Norcott Award went to Leo Maslan of Cornish. Named after the
NHTOA’s first Executive Director, this award recognizes a person for service and dedication to
the organization well beyond board or committee work.
Leo Maslan knew he wanted to get out of Connecticut, so he attended Paul Smith’s College for
forestry, graduating in 1973. After logging in the Adirondacks—for $2.20 an hour, he
remembers—he worked for the Bartlett Tree Company out of Woodstock, Vt. and kept stopping
by the office of Jim Neil, a consulting forester in Claremont, asking for a job. “Eventually he
tracked me down and hired me,” Leo said.
He moved to Cornish and ran one of the first mechanized logging operations in New Hampshire
for Neil. Thirty-nine years ago, he became a procurement forester for Finch Paper and has been
with them ever since. “Well, I did quit for two years to be a naturalist guide at Denali [in
Alaska],” he said, “which was tough financially, but I don’t regret it.”
Along the way Leo also got a bachelor’s degree from the College of Lifelong Learning at UNH,
18 years after Paul Smith’s, and in 2003 received his master’s degree in environmental science
from Antioch New England.
Leo became a member of the NHTOA shortly after the current executive director started and
has since been on the board of directors, serving as secretary. “As a forester and a timberland
owner, I began to hear about TOA,” he said. “The more I heard, the better it sounded. It’s a
lean, efficient organization looking out for landowners.”
Leo is a regular NHTOA volunteer, “writing letters to legislators on a few forestry related issues,
assisting with the two Forests of NH Teacher Tours, serving on the planning committee for both
Forest Career Days, donating to and supporting the Logger and Truckers Annual Conventions,
and assisting with setup of the annual meeting.” Leo is also a member of the Cornish Fire
Department and the N.H. Wildland Fire Team and has gone out west to fight wildfires.
Cutline – Leo Maslan of Cornish wins the NHTOA 2023 Kendall Norcott award for public
service in the forest products community.