Hugh has spent more than 3 decades working on conservation issues in the Southern Appalachians. Before coming to The Wilderness Society in 2011, he spent 16 years as Conservation Planner for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition where he concentrated on documenting and analyzing the region's conservation values and priorities. This resulted in the publication of a study examining the future potential of the Southern Appalachian region: "Return the Great Forest: A Conservation Vision for the Southern Appalachian Region".
Hugh has a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science in Forest Ecology from the University of Tennessee. Hugh enjoys hiking and backpacking, as well as photography and many other forms of nature study.