Gary Frank Salmon, (also known as “The Tree Guy,” “Forest Recreation Guru,” “The Answer Man”) 75, of Shrewsbury, Vermont, died Jan. 1, 2023 at his home.
He was born June 8, 1947, in Utica, New York, the son of Warren Kenneth and Mildred Eleanor (Brant) Salmon and was predeceased by his brother Bradley Warren Salmon.
Salmon graduated from Watertown High School in New York. He earned a bachelors of science degree in resources management from State University College of Forestry at Syracuse University.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he served during the Vietnam era.
On Dec. 19, 1970, he married Margery (Starr) Salmon.
A 44-year member of Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, he sang in the Sanctuary Choir and was a longtime member of the Music Committee. As a student at Syracuse University he sang at Hendricks Chapel. His love of singing included membership in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Rutland Area Chorus.
Salmon worked as a forester for the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation for 36 years. Over his career he fought forest fires in Montana, Minnesota, Idaho, California, Oregon and Vermont. One of his many joys was working with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps building and maintaining trails and bridges on state land and providing environmental education to the crews.
Throughout his long career Salmon wore many hats including as Arbor Day coordinator and educator where he supplied tree seedlings to school kids. He administered accepted management practices protecting Vermont’s water quality, served as a private lands forester, trails coordinator, state lands forester and Envirothon coordinator. He was champion of “Vermont Big Tree” project, a district urban and community forester, municipal forest manager, UCF Council member, and a D&H Rail Trail advocate. Throughout his career in forestry, just as the Lorax said, Gary Salmon spoke for the trees.
Additionally, he authored educational and entertaining monthly tree articles for the Shrewsbury Times and the Mountain Times (the column “Tree Talk”) for many years adding pictures from his trove of photographs. A longtime member of the Society of American Foresters, he edited their quarterly newsletter for many years.
Other interests included acting as Tree Warden for the town of Shrewsbury, science fair judging at local high schools, participating in local adult baseball and soccer games, setting up displays and sharing his knowledge with fairgoers at the Vermont State Fair Forestry Building and always carrying his camera for that unique photo opportunity.
Salmon liked sports at an early age but his love was any Syracuse University sport which included basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey. “Go Orange.”
Survivors include his wife, Margery of Shrewsbury, a sister, Judy, her husband, Michael Geng, and cousins and their families. His family wants to thank Dr. Coleman, Dr. Graves, Dr. Jedlovszky, Dr. Enyinna and all the medical staff who cared for him. The memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 at 2 p.m. in Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, with the Rev. Terry Hanley, pastor, officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the music program of Grace Congregational Church in Rutland. For more info, visit gracechurchvt.org.
Arrangements are with Tossing Funeral Home.