New England 2019 Bill Hull - Hull Forest Products Pomfret Center, Connecticut Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Bill Hull showed an affinity for trees in his childhood Rhode Island backyard. By the age of 15 he convinced a local farmer to lend him the money to purchase a forest. He paid off the loan (with interest) two years later, and was on his way to becoming one of New England’s leading foresters.

While earning a forestry degree at the University of New Hampshire, Hull got his start in the lumber business sawing white oaks into barrel staves on an old-fashioned circular sawmill. Despite market downturns and collapses, bankruptcy scares, and several devastating fires, he bootstrapped a tiny business into the largest sawmill in southern New England. Today, Hull Forest Products manufactures more than 10 million board feet of lumber into sustainable building materials each year.

With a business dependent on healthy, productive forests, he launched a woodland management division staffed with licensed foresters to help other landowners keep their woodlands intact by providing them a viable financial return.

He’s acquired more than 27,000 acres of forestland with a single-minded dedication for conserving working forests that provide bird and wildlife habitat and biodiversity across New England.

Bill Hull - Hull Forest Products

Hull Forest Products, which employs 80 people, is a family of forestland owner-investors working in the combined fields of forest management, timber harvesting, and wood products manufacturing and marketing.

Hull credits his rural background with teaching him that growing and harvesting trees helps the environment through increased wildlife habitat, improved air and water quality, and carbon sequestration. He has voluntarily placed conservation easements on 90 percent of his southern New England forests.

The Hull family has permanently protected 27,740 acres of forestland through Hull Forestlands. By removing the possibility of development, it ensures that working forests will remain a source of timber for generations to come. These unique and environmentally important landscapes are home to wetlands, streams, and forests that sustain drinking water supplies for urban areas, and provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.

In 2000, Hull Forestlands participated in the largest private land protection project in Massachusetts history by permanently preserving more than 8,000 acres of working forestland. The Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs hailed the innovative project that spread across five watersheds in Massachusetts and Connecticut as a “regional model for innovative conservation of natural resources.”

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Bill Hull

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