Associate State Director, New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM
Laura McCarthy is the Associate State Director at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in New Mexico. She is a Master of Forestry and has degrees in environmental, government and legal studies.
As the associate state director, Laura oversees programs in the Rio Grande, Gila, and San Juan Basins, including freshwater and climate and energy programs, and a new urban initiative in Albuquerque.
TNC’s Rio Grande Water Fund, which she founded and directs, is where she’s truly revolutionizing the way forests are managed in the increasingly arid Southwest. Working alongside 70+ partners, the Water Fund dramatically increases the scope of forest restoration to secure water for one million people in New Mexico.
In 2006, Laura served as TNC’s first Senior Policy Advisor for Fire and Forest Restoration. In 2013, she became the New Mexico chapter’s conservation programs director. Three years later, Laura was named associate state director.
Before joining TNC, Laura spent eight years as Associate Director of the New Mexico-based Forest Guild. She also worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, timber manager and forest planner.
- Rio Grande Water Fund: Comprehensive Plan for Wildfire and Water Source Protection, 2014.
- People Restoring America’s Forests: A Report on the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. 2012. The Nature Conservancy and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition.
- Forest work hedges against climate-change damage, Albuquerque Journal Editorial – December 6, 2018.
- Face to face with Laura McCarthy: Heading off wildfires, Albuquerque Journal – December 2, 2018.
- Associate State Director Laura McCarthy Tapped for Lujan Grisham Transition Team, December 2018
- Tree thinning in TSV canyon provides glimpse of future forests, The Taos News – August 24, 2017
- Ranchers, environmental groups work to improve public lands, U.S. News – November 29, 2017
- Can cutting down trees protect New Mexico’s water? A new collaboration seeks to ease wildfire’s impacts by thinning overgrown forests, High Country News – May 26, 2016