ack Spiegel, a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Chapter IAT died on Saturday April 24. Jack was 92 years old and had been a Board member for several years. He was a significant financial contributor to our success. He was a really good friend of Dick Anderson’s. Dick delivered a eulogy at his memorial(see below). He will be missed by all the members of the Maine Chapter Board.
Jack Spiegel was quite a guy. I remember him from the 60’s—and I am sure some of you do—when he drove around Portland with some kind of a plastic Indian attached to the top of his station wagon. The Indian was Quoddy, I guess.
He was a very successful buisnessman , but he did a lot of other wonderful things.
I actually never met him until 1987 when I was introduced to him by some of his friends. At that time we were trying to convince Jack to contribute to the caribou reintroduction project.
After lunch that day Jack asked me if I would meet with him to talk about a piece of land that he owned in the Town of Raymond. We met for lunch shortly after that and the first question I asked him was how many acres he owned in Raymond. To my absolute amazement —Jack answered —OH—about twelve hundred acres—I think. That was the beginning of a lot of great adventures with Jack.
That twelve hundred acre parcel, which Jack bought after it had been clearcut in the 1950’s, had been nursed back to a productive forest by Jack. Working with state and private foresters over 35 years, Jack turned this devastated forestland into a productive woodlot — inhabited by an abundant wildlife population. Jack and I spent several years trying to find ways to preserve this exceptional piece of forestland and in the end Jack and Anne decided that the whole area should be preserved as a state wildlife management area. It took a few years to work through that complicated process, but –thanks to a very large contribution by Jack—the area was sold to the state. It is now known officially as the Morgan Meadow Wildlife Management Area and is carefully managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for open public use, timber management and as productive wildlife habitat. Jack continued to work with the Department to assist in the management and expansion of the area right up until his death. He funded forestry work, public recreational development and expansion research. In the last year alone more than 120,000 dollars worth of timber has been harvested from Morgan Meadow—a tribute to Jack’s long time and careful management of the area.
As a result of the expansion research—funded by Jack—the area has been expanded by over 300 acres in the last two years.
I workedwith Jack, and his brothers, on finding productive uses for several other large pieces of land. The most satisfying of those was the 150 acre parcel that Jack and Anne donated to the State of Maine in the Town of Pownal. The forest on that parcel had been well managed by Jack for many years. The parcel abutted Bradbury Mountain State Park and one day Jack and Anne decided to donate it to the State as a large addition to the State park. The land now is an integral part of the Park and containes many miles of hiking and mountain bike trails.
Jack was a Board member of the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail at the time of his death. I remember that we had a 90th birthday party for him when his birthday coincided with a Board meeting.
His contributions to that organization funded significant improvements in the functioning of that organization.
Jack was not an outdoor person—he never hiked, hunted or fished—but he really enjoyed taking care of the land parcels he owned. He was always supportive of projects that would improve his lands and make them better for public uses and more productive.
I loved working with Jack. He was always energized, he always had an idea,he was always cheerfull and he was always thinking of the public good.
His generous spirit and his energy will continue to inspire all who knew him—including me.
Jack had a great –and long –life.
He accomplished many things that will be of great benefit to future generations.
We all thank you Jack