The SLT Board is delighted to welcome Andrew Mackie as our new Executive Director. He brings more than 25 years of conservation expertise, including community-engaged conservation planning, land protection and restoration, stewardship, and wildlife management. His love of nature and birds began in his childhood as he explored the forests and wetlands of New York State’s Hudson Valley. Andrew graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a B.S. in biology.
Following his graduation, Andrew worked for the National Audubon Society for 15 years. He began at Constitution Marsh Sanctuary on the Hudson River leading public canoe programs, then moved to Southwest Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary as Assistant Manager, where he directed their visitor, education, intern, and volunteer programs. He then returned to the New York National Audubon Society as their Centers and Education Project Manager, responsible for working with a variety of sanctuaries and nature centers across the state, including the construction of the $3.5 million Montezuma Audubon Center.
Andrew left his position with Audubon in 2008 to complete his Masters of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, Connecticut. While at Yale, he worked with the Guilford Land Conservation Trust, creating a stewardship program for their holdings. He also worked with the Great Land Trust in Anchorage, Alaska, monitoring their conservation easements and squeezing in birding trips to the Pribilof Island whenever he could.
In 2009, Andrew moved to Colorado, where he served as Central Colorado Conservancy’s first executive director. During his 10-year tenure there, he built the organization into a well-respected regional land trust, completing over a dozen conservation easements and several fee acquisition projects, initiating a rivers and streams restoration program, raising over $10 million in project funding, increasing their operating budget ten-fold, and developing strong volunteer and citizen science programs. He was also on the leadership team for a county-wide planning process, Envision Chaffee, and for a local finance measure, Common Ground, that passed in 2018, bringing in $1 million a year for conservation. In 2019, he was a founding board member for the Amphibian and Reptile Trust International, working to conserve habitat for declining amphibians and reptiles worldwide.
Currently, Andrew continues to travel and bird when time allows. He has led nature travel programs to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Pantanal, Trinidad and Tobago, Alaska and Australia, and has taken numerous canoe/kayak trips to the Adirondacks, Canada and the Boundary Waters. In addition to travel and birding, Andrew also enjoys gardening and photography.