The Three-Decade Conservation Career of Ken Olson ’68

Ken Olson ’68 retired in 2006 from a three-decade conservation career that included twenty years as chief executive of three nonprofit corporations, running black budgets every year.

His fulltime charitable work began in 1971 when, at 25, he became the youngest person ever to direct the Appalachian Mountain Club’s combined Hut System, Pinkham Notch Camp, Saco River campgrounds and, temporarily, its trailcrew.

Ken later became publisher and editor-in-chief of AMC books, maps, and magazines, including Appalachia. His own books include New England’s White Mountains: At Home in the Wild, co-authored by Brooks Atkinson, edited by David Brower, plus two collaborations with photographer Tom Blagden, Jr., about Acadia National Park. Ken’s opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times and elsewhere.

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