Land trust hires executive director

By Observer staff September 04, 2013 10:27 am
ENTERPRISE — An executive director joins the Wallowa Land Trust this fall, a woman with the experience, personality and work ethic the board desired.

Kathleen Ackley has been with the Capitol Land Trust in Olympia, Wash., and served as its associate director.

James Monteith has served as the Wallowa Land Trust board’s president since the Trust’s beginning in 2004 and has done much to guide its mission as well as raise the funds needed to run its operation and hire a director. He will no longer be the president once Ackley arrives in mid-October, but will remain as a board member.

“I am the most excited of everybody about Kathleen,” Monteith said. “This is a monumental change  for the Land Trust to have our first executive director. After 10 years we are ready to embrace the challenges we’ve been preparing for.”

Monteith said one reason the Trust is especially excited about her is that she’s from Oregon and familiar with Eastern Oregon. “She knows the landscape and the politics and has been a major force behind of the region’s most successful land trusts.”

For the next few years the Trust will focus on organizational development and fundraising, Monteith said.

“We hired her because she had the background we are looking for and the personality. She has a reputation for being a really hard worker and our organization is in a phase where we are ambitious and excited. Someone with her work ethic and her background made her our top candidate,” Monteith said.

Board Chairman David Bridges said, “This expansion of the Trust’s staff has been a long time in the making. We owe many thanks to the generous individuals who, along with the YARG Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and Collins Foundation, have helped us reach this milestone.”

Monteith said the Trust will continue to work locally to protect the moraines around Wallowa Lake and regionally with the Blue Mountains Conservancy and the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts based in Portland.

Raised in Eugene, Ackley was first exposed to Wallowa County on a camping trip. Monteith said she lives in a rural area outside of Olympia and looks forward to bringing her five ducks and two rabbits with her to her new home.