BETHEL — The Bethel Historical Society is planning to participate in the 17th annual Bethel Harvestfest at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, by hosting a lecture to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

Executive Director Randall Bennett said that the Bethel Historical Society has attempted to hold programs around the same time as the Bethel Harvestfest.

“Every year for the past several years, we’ve tried to offer special programs that tie in with Harvestfest,” Bennett said. “Whether it’s a program on autumn or nature or the geography of the area, we come up with something.”

Bennett said that the lecture is being presented by David Govatski of Jefferson, N.H., a retired Fire and Aviation Management Officer with the U.S. Forest Service.

According to the Wilderness Society’s website, the Wilderness Act was a conversation bill written by Wilderness Society member Howard Zahniser in 1964 that has helped to protect millions of acres of land across the United States.

Govatski is planning to present an illustrated program that focuses on “wilderness areas in the nearby White Mountain National Forest, including the 14,000-acre Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness, which lies in Maine,” Bennett said.


Govatski currently serves on the board of directors of and is the Secretary of the Weeks Act Centennial Coordinating Committee.

He also runs a small forestry and natural resource consulting company and serves on the board of directors of several environmental organizations.

The program, which is free of charge, will take place at the Dr. Moses Mason House on 14 Broad St.

Prior to Govatski’s illustrated lecture, author and Lewiston resident Jim Witherell, who wrote the book “Ed Muskie: Made in Maine, 1914-1960,” will be signing copies of his books from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bennett said that Witherell’s book focuses on the life and career of Rumford native Edmund “Ed” Muskie from the days he grew up in Rumford to his stint as governor of Maine.

For more information, call the Bethel Historical Society at 207-824-2908.

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