Matt Markot and Thom Perkins

Matt Markot (left) takes over as executive director of Loon Echo Land Trust from retiring director Thom Perkins (right). (COURTESY PHOTO)

BRIDGTON, Maine — On Jan. 7, Loon Echo Land Trust welcomed Matt Markot as its new executive director. Markot, who resides in Harrison, Maine, takes the lead for the conservation organization from retiring Executive Director Thom Perkins.

Most recently, Markot worked for the land trust supporting the organization’s stewardship and conservation easement programs, in addition to organizing the 2018 Loon Echo Trek. He also worked as a part-time consultant through Sebago Clean Waters to support both Loon Echo and Western Foothills Land Trusts with their conservation efforts.

“Our board is thrilled to have Matt lead Loon Echo, and we are looking forward to working with him to continue the positive impact that Loon Echo has on our community,” said Loon Echo Board President David Diller as he welcomed Markot to his new role at the organization.

Markot brings a wealth of natural resource, conservation and environmental education experience from years of working around the state of Maine at places like the Nature Conservancy, the Maine Natural Areas Program and Kieve-Wavus Education Inc.

Markot has strong family ties to the Bridgton area and grew up spending his summers on the shores of Moose Pond. A registered Maine guide and wilderness first responder, he enjoys skiing, hiking,

camping and fishing.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to step into a new role in an organization that I have great respect for,” Markot said upon starting his first week as executive director. “The passion that Loon Echo’s board, staff, members and volunteers bring to conservation work in our region inspires me to lead by their example. I intend to build upon Loon Echo’s strengths while keeping sight of the traditions that make protected land so integral to our way of life in the Lake Region.”

Markot succeeds Perkins, who has been Loon Echo’s executive director since 2016.

Perkins will support the leadership transition by acting as senior adviser to the organization until the end of March. He will be assisting Markot in organizational management during the transition. During his tenure, Perkins finalized the organization’s Land Trust Alliance national accreditation, negotiated the donation of land for a new preserve on Highland Lake, negotiated and developed donated land for recreational access to Pleasant Mountain, acquired the technological tools needed to position the organization for the future, spearheaded additional conservation easement land, increased the capacity of the organization by increasing staff in mission critical areas, was instrumental in developing an organization to protect the region’s clean water and laid the groundwork for additional Loon Echo Land Trust conservation efforts.

“I am more than pleased that the board of directors selected Matt. I can’t think of a better candidate to take over this position and move Loon Echo into the future,” said Perkins, “there are a lot of exciting plans in the works and Matt’s the perfect person to press onward.”

Loon Echo Land Trust will host a snowshoe walk of their latest project, Peabody-Fitch Woods on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m. The public will have an opportunity to meet the new executive director, explore the property and learn more about the project. More information on this event can be found at Loon Echo’s website, lelt.org.

Loon Echo Land Trust protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 30 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region.  

For information about membership, upcoming events, or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website lelt.org, call (207) 647-4352, or drop by their office Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at 8 Depot St., Suite 4 in Bridgton.

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