Ecologist, Easement Donor, Steward and Mentor: Warren Abrahamson Leaves Conservancy Board

 In News

This spring Abe led a walk along Dale’s Ridge following a fire there, explaining how it had affected vegetation.

Warren (Abe) Abrahamson has retired from the Linn Conservancy Board after a long tenure of exemplary service to the Conservancy. Abe began his service on the Board very soon after the Conservancy came into existence in 1988.

As a relatively young member of Bucknell’s Biology Department, Abe had become an excellent member of a very good department, was a highly respected teacher and the Department’s most productive scholar while establishing himself as an internationally known plant evolutionary ecologist. His efforts in teaching and scholarship required a considerable time commitment.

Nonetheless, when asked by Jeannette Lasansky (one of the Conservancy’s co-founders) to get involved as a Board member in this new land trust, Abe agreed. However, because of his academic commitments, Abe first agreed only to share a seat on the Board with Wayne McDiffett, another Bucknell biologist. Not surprisingly, Abe’s involvement with the conservancy quickly became that of a full-fledged board member.

Valuable Expertise

As a Board member, Abe rapidly became a major contributor in helping this new conservancy become a significant local player in preserving land and promoting environmental education. His life-long dedication to sound environmental practices came to the fore.

His knowledge of ecology, which he eagerly shared with anyone who would listen, was a great influence among Conservancy Board members and his carefully considered and wise counsel became commonplace during Board meetings. Board members respected his contributions to discussions and came to rely on his leadership.

Because of his expertise, Abe became an active member of the Conservancy’s Site/Stewardship Committee whose primary duties are to facilitate the preservation of land and monitor properties under conservation easement. His background in ecology, biological field work and enthusiasm for land preservation were an invaluable asset to the committee in helping to assess land that should be preserved.

Much of his work with Site/Stewardship was well known within the Conservancy, but also significant were Abe’s efforts on behalf of the Conservancy that were not so well known. Because of his considerable experience in preparing scholarly works for publication, grant proposals and reports, Abe volunteered his writing and editorial skills to the Conservancy when the Conservancy needed to prepare documents such as grant proposals, conservation easements or pieces for public consumption.

An Easement Donor and Steward

Not only has Abe been instrumental in the workings of the Site/ Stewardship Committee, but he is also a donor of a conservation easement. Abe and his wife, Chris, placed their land in an easement in 2013 and opened to the public the Shamokin Mountain Trail which became one of the several public trails under the auspices of the Conservancy. Although no longer open to the public, the Shamokin Mountain Trail was maintained almost single-handedly by Abe as trail steward. When needed, grass was mowed and the trail was cleared of fallen trees through his efforts.

Continuing to Serve

Although he is stepping off the Board, we can thank Abe and celebrate his 30-plus years of wonderful service to the Conservancy. We can also take comfort in knowing that he has agreed to remain active with the Site/Stewardship Committee and we can be sure he will continue to support the mission of the Linn Conservancy in the many ways that he can.

— Wayne F. McDiffett

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