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Robert Leverett profile

"Premier old-growth forest evangelist"

Bob Leverett Image-a.jpg

Environmental-Forest Research Organizational Affiliations (Current)

Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

Cofounder (1993), President, and principal old growth forest ecologist

A federally recognized non-profit environmental organization and an officially recognized Friends organization to the state forests and parks of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Native Tree Society (NTS)
(formerly Eastern Native Tree Society - ENTS)

Cofounder (1996), Executive Director

A forest and tree advocacy Internet interest organization with members devoted to scientific research, tree modeling and measurement, education, and general enjoyment of forests and trees. Membership consists of academics, government scientists, professional foresters, arborists, research scientists in environmental organizations, and ordinary citizens. The core of NTS is an advanced tree measuring group, which develops methods for measuring trees to a high level of accuracy. Associate editor of and contributor to the Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society, a scientific journal. Principal editor, Dr. Donald Bragg, U.S.D.A. Forest Service. 

American Forests National Champion Tree Program

Senior Advisor (since 2014)

Writing & Publications

Old Growth In The East, A Survey

Wrote forward and lead essay for Dr. Mary Davis's publication seminal publication on the old growth sites in the East, 1993. Provided the data for southern New England and selected sites in northern New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the southern Appalachians. Assisted Mary Davis with the 1996 update.

Eastern Old Growth Forests - Prospects for Rediscovery and Recovery

A co-conceptualizer of the book with Dr. Mary Byrd Davis. An assistant editor and a coauthor of this widely received book on eastern old growth forests. A publication of Island Press (1996).

Stalking the Forest Monarchs-A Guide to Measuring Champion Trees

Coauthor with Will Blozan and Jack Sobon. Self-published book on how to measure champion trees (1997). Included new measurement techniques.

Wilderness Comes Home - Re-Wilding the Northeast

Contributor to this book edited by Christopher McGrory Klyza. Wrote chapter on eastern old growth. Published by University Press of New England, 2001.

Sierra Club Guide to Ancient Forests of the Northeast

Coauthor with Bruce Kershner of this book on old growth sites in the Northeast, 2004.

American Indian Places – A Historical Guidebook

Contributor to this book organized by Frances Kennedy. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.

Writing & Publications

American Forests Tree-Measuring Guidelines Handbook

U.S. Forest Service retired. An 86-page internet manual on measuring trees for championship competitions. The manual can be downloaded here

Studies (Sample)

Survey of Old-growth Forest in Massachusetts

Coauthor with Dr. Peter F. Dunwiddie, Mass Audubon Society, published by RHODORA, Vol. 98, No. 896, pp. 419-444, 1996. This is one of the two authoritative scientific inventories and studies of old growth forests of Massachusetts.

The Sine Method: An Alternative Height Measurement Technique - SRS-22

Coauthor with Dr. Donald Bragg, U.S.D.A Forest Service; Dr. Lee Frelich, Director for Center of Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota; Will Blozan, President Native Tree Society; Dale Luthringer, Naturalist and Educational Specialist, Cook Forest State Park, PA. Published by

United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Dec 2011. This is an authoritative paper that compares and contrasts the principal methods of measuring tree heights.

Annual Report to Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation by Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

Two annual reports detail the research accomplished by FMTSF on the old-growth forests and outstanding second-growth forests on DCR properties. Study participants include Robert T. Leverett, Professor Gary Beluzo, and other scientists of the Native Tree Society.

Forest Inventory and Research

Inventory, study, and GPS-GIS map all old growth forest stands on the state lands on Massachusetts. Inventory is being performed for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under a special use permit from DCR. (current)

Assist Trustees of Reservations map and document old growth forest on William Cullen Bryant Homestead and other Trustees properties. (current)

Ecological and tree growth studies in second growth and old growth areas of Mohawk Trail State Forest and other state forests. (current)


Special research permit from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of general ENTS research program entitled Tsuga Search. Study and document old growth hemlocks in the National Park. (past)


Special research permit from Congaree Swamp National Park as part of general ENTS forest research program. (past)


Inventory, study, and GPS-GIS map old growth forest stands on the property of the City of Springfield Water Department. (1999-2000)

Magazine - Internet Articles (Sample)

American Forests

Two articles on exemplary forests and tree-measuring, 2013, 2016.

Rewilding Institute

Articles and podcasts on old growth forests and carbon sequestration, 2018

Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA

Articles on old growth forests and champion trees, since 2000.

Trees For Life —Findhorn Journal, Scotland

Author of article on old growth forests, 1999.

Wildflower, North America's Wild Flora Magazine

Articles on historic trees and old growth forests, 1995

The Woodland Steward, Berkshire Magazine

Articles for the Massachusetts Forestry Association’s primary publication.


Article on old growth forests for Association of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics.

Eastern Old Growth Forest Clearing House

Regular contributor to ‘Old Growth Notes,’ the publication of the Clearing House, mid-1990s.

Wild Earth Publication

Numerous articles on tree species and old growth forests to include definitions, early 1990s.

Association of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (AFSEEE)

Articles on eastern old growth forests, 1990s.

Roles (current and past)

Chair, Forest Reserves Science Advisory Committee for Massachusetts DCR (current)


Advised and assisted Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in delineating the boundaries of nine major forest reserves amounting to 50,000 acres in the state of Massachusetts (up to 2011)


Cofounder (2016) with Don R. Bertolette of American Forests National Cadre of Expert Tree Measurers.


Acted as primary point of contact in early 1990s to Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program on old-growth forests in Massachusetts (1989-1991)


County Coordinator (Hampshire, Berkshire and Franklin Counties) for Old-growth Forest Network.

Environmental-Forest Research Organizational Affiliations (current and past)

Conference - Forest Science in the Landowners Interest

Principal architect/organizer and presenter. Co-sponsored by Williams College, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and others TBA.  October 26-27, 2019.

Ancient Eastern Forest Conference Series

Principal Architect, and Presenter (since 1993)

Conferences held on eastern old growth forest sites bring together academics, resource managers, and environmental activists to share information on eastern old growth and present technical papers. Conferences held at University of North Carolina; Williams College, MA:  University of Arkansas(2 events): Clarion University of Pennsylvania: University of Minnesota, Harvard University-Harvard Forest, Sweet Briar College, VA, and the University of New Hampshire, Eastern Kentucky University.

Forest Summit Lecture Series

Cofounder with the late Professor Gary BeluzoSponsored annually by Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, Massachusetts as a public service. Six conferences held to date. Conferences present updated information of old growth forests in the East. Leverett is the primary presenter on Massachusetts old growth sites, 1990s-2013.


Eastern Old Growth Forest Clearing House - Georgetown, KY

Advisor and consultant

Worked with this organization dedicated to accumulating and archiving information on eastern old growth forests, mid-1990s.

White Pine Society of Ely, Minnesota

Member and contributor. Organization was formed to preserve the remaining white pine sites in Minnesota to include those with old growth. Collaborated with Dr. Lynn Rogers on role and importance of old growth white pines as habitat for wildlife.

Forest Stewards Guild

Associate member and program presenter.

Massachusetts Forestry Association

Member of and advisor on old growth forests in Massachusetts.

Wild Earth Publication

Editorial Advisor.

New York State Natural Heritage Program

Contributor to location of old growth sites in Adirondack Park.


Guest lecturer at numerous colleges, universities and forestry organizations on old-growth forests, big and/or historic trees (current).

Principal trainer and workshop leader for American Forests on tree-measuring methods for championship trees. Workshops held at Cook Forest State Park, PA; Mohawk Trail State Forest, MA, Virginia Tech, VA; University of Tennessee, TN; Dartmouth College, NH; Red Hill Plantation, VA, NPS; George Landis Arboretum, NY; USFS-BLM, Durango, CO (current).

Principal program coordinator for interpretive programs for Mohawk Trail State Forest sponsored by Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest. Developing trail maps and guidebooks for Mohawk Trail State Forest (current).

Volunteer assistant to Cook Forest State Park, PA, Educational Coordinator and Naturalist on tree measuring workshops (current).

Contract Interpretive Forest Ecology Instructor

Walnut Hill Tracking and Nature Center (current)

Hitchcock Center for the Environment (current)     

Paul Rezendes Programs in Tracking (past)

New England Wild Flower Society (past)

Harvard University-Arnold Arboretum (past).

Volunteer Interpretive Forest Ecology Instructor

Massachusetts Audubon Society (current)

Trustees of Reservations (current)

Laurel Hill Association (current)

Sierra Club (past)      

Appalachian Mountain Club (past).

Special Recognitions

Recognized by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program

as the discoverer of most of 50+ old-growth stands in Massachusetts.


Recognized by Wild Earth publication

as the East's “premier old-growth forest evangelist.”


Recognized by U.S. Forest Service

in ‘Information About Old-Growth for Selected Forest Type Groups in the Eastern United States. General Technical Report NC – 197. Forest Service recognized definitions of old growth forest and data contributed by Leverett.


Recognized by Great Smoky Mountain National Park

as an expert in old-growth identification (Keith Langdon, Natural Resource Specialist, Feb 2, 1993).


Numerous articles have been written about Leverett in prominent magazines, national and local papers, on national public television, on National Public Radio (Living On Earth Series). For example, in April '92 escorted Fumi Hiko Yoshida of ASAHI SHIMBUN, Japan's 3rd largest newspaper on old-growth tour of the Berkshires. Article appeared in June '92. Leverett's work and role is being covered in several books.


Featured on WQED National Public Television's program The Web of Life --aired April 3rd, 1995.


Recognized in

a variety of publications as an expert on old-growth forests. Selected examples are:

  • ‘The Appalachian Forest’ by Chris Bolgiano (1998)

  • Yankee Magazine Article: ‘Defenders of the Forest,’ October 2005

  • Massachusetts Audubon Article: ‘The Evangelist of Old Growth’ by Tom Conuel, Jan/Feb

  • 1994 1993 conservation award of the year from New England Wild Flower Society.


Cited as expert on old-growth forest

and assisted in Identification of Multi-spectral and Textural Signatures of old-growth forests from remotely sensed digital imagery of Northwestern Massachusetts - A Thesis Presented by Donald Ross Bertolette. University of Massachusetts, Dept of Forestry and Wildlife.

Recognized by Department of Conservation and Recreation

in special museum display of Western Gate Heritage State Park, Massachusetts as primary discoverer and measurer of exceptional trees in Mohawk Trail and Monroe State Forests

Conservation Awards

Citizen conservation award of the year from the Springfield Naturalist Club, Springfield, MA (2010)


Massachusetts Audubon Society for their highest citizen conservation award (2000).


Nominated for the Ester C. Cunningham Award by Western North Carolina Alliance “for outstanding community service in conserving our natural resources.” 


Conservation Award of the Year from New England Wild Flower Society (1993)

Other Biographical Information

Retired Military, USAF


Retired President of Management & Planning Systems Inc. - a management and computer consulting corporation of Springfield, MA. Position as Executive Vice President for 15 years. President for 7 years (past). In a technical capacity, served as industrial engineer and computer software developer for MPS.


Adjunct Instructor of Computer Science at Holyoke Community College. (1977-2001). Other teaching positions with American International College and Elms College (past). Regular guest lecturer at Hampshire College and Greenfield Community College.


Formal Education: Industrial Engineering and Management B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology. Graduates studies in Economics, University of South Dakota State, graduate studies in Business Administration and Computer Science, University of Wyoming.

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