The longer I live the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world…I have loved the feel of the grass under my feet, and the sound of the running streams by my side. The hum of the wind in the treetops has always been good music to me, and the face of the fields has often comforted me more than the faces of men. I am in love with this world…I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvest, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have I reaped what I have sown. I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.
— John Burroughs
It was a standing-room-only crowd at Mohonk Mountain House Parlor, where Mohonk Consultations presented its 2013 Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award to Paul C. Huth for “leading stewardship, conservation and collaborative research for the Shawangunk Mountains and beyond.”
Huth has spent 40 years at the Mohonk Preserve, first as an apprentice to Daniel Smiley and eventually as the longtime director of the Daniel Smiley Research Center (DSRC). There, he has amply demonstrated his passion for the land, his dedication to recording every detail of the natural world along the Ridge and his determination to assume and carry on the legacy of his dear friend Dan in the daily recordings of weather and water, as well as steadfast and copiously noted observations of the fauna, flora and vast array of animal species that inhabit the 8,000-acre Preserve.
While he is known as a “scientist’s scientist,” Huth’s knowledge and love of the land dovetail perfectly with his love of people, his patience and delight in sharing knowledge with others and his sense of humor and humility that could turn a stone-cold tree-hater into a tree-hugger within a few hundred feet into one of his daily “nature walks.”
“This is a very special night, first and foremost because we get to honor Paul Huth on Earth Day, and secondly, because we have all of the ‘Mohonks’ under one roof!” said Patty Matteson of Mohonk Consultations. She was referring to the representation of the Smiley family from Mohonk Mountain House; executive director Glenn Hoagland and many others from the Preserve; staff from Brook Farm, a Community-Supported Agriculture farm located on Preserve land; members of the Mohonk Consultations Board; and Larry Burgess, director emeritus of the A. K. Smiley Library in Redlands, California, who gave the keynote speech.