Speaker Bio

Laura McCarthy has been a forester since 1987 and New Mexico State Forester since March 2019. She has served New Mexico with The Nature Conservancy for 17 years as Associate State Director, Director of Conservation Programs and Senior Policy Advisor for Fire and Forest Restoration. She has had a pivotal role in the Rio Grande Water Fund, a collaborative watershed restoration effort. She loves backpacking as a way to see remote forested areas and be immersed 24/7 in the outdoors. 


The New Mexico Forest Action Plan is being revised in 2020, overhauling the strategies used to improve the health, resiliency, and productivity of New Mexico’s forests. This overhaul is prioritizing climate change mitigation and adaptation practices, with the solemn understanding that uncharacteristically extreme forest fires in New Mexico pose as much of a threat to climate change mitigation as the forests themselves provide a hope. Laura will present the methods used to assess our forest resources and the threats they face and invite the audience to contribute to the discussion on actions and partnerships that can more rapidly advance our management response to a changing climate and forest.


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