Story last updated at 8:39 PM on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

KHLT board picks McCarty as new director


After the departure this summer of longtime Kachemak Heritage Land Trust executive director Barb Seaman, the land trust board of directors reached within its staff to name a replacement: development director Marie McCarty. McCarty, 48, had been serving as interim director. The board named McCarty its new executive director last week.


Marie McCarty

"We are honored to have such a strong leader at Kachemak Heritage Land Trust," said board president Dotti Harness.

McCarty has worked at KHLT since 1997, when she became assistant director. She became development director in 2001.

Born and raised in the Chicago area, McCarty has a bachelor of arts degree in human ecology from the College of Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine, a juris doctorate, and a masters of studies in law with an emphasis on environmental law, both from Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vt.

Before moving to Homer in 1996, McCarty was a staff attorney with New Hampshire Legal Assistance, Claremont, N.H. McCarty and her husband, Steve Baird, a research analyst with Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, have two teenage children, Jason and Hannah.

"I am privileged to work with our dedicated board of directors, talented staff and our Kenai Peninsula communities," McCarty said. "I have invested the majority of my professional life in Kachemak Heritage Land Trust because I believe in the increasing significance of preserving land for our future, and in protecting land important to our Kenai Peninsula communities. Kachemak Heritage Land Trust's mission, values and organizational philosophy are part and parcel of both my professional and personal life."

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, established in 1989, is Alaska's first land trust. Its mission is to preserve land with significant natural, recreational or cultural values. By working with landowners, KHLT has protected on the Kenai Peninsula more than 1,500 acres through conservation easements and about 1,000 acres through purchases or donations. Protected land ranges from the 613-acre Yule Kilcher homestead conservation easement to KHLT's office and 3.47 acres of land on the old Poopdeck Platt property in downtown Homer.