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Resume of James P McMahon



Thirty plus years experience with a history of demonstrated accomplishments in community conservation, watershed planning, river and wetlands restoration, endangered species protection, property and project management, business development, marketing, and creative problem solving. An acknowledged innovator in the development of environmental solutions.


CONSULTING ECOLOGIST, Sweetwater, LLC, Brookside, UT. Consult on water quality issues to a diverse group of clients and sell water and air purification systems and treatment equipment.  Assemble specialty solutions.  Provide design and installation, construction management services for ecological restorations. Collaborate with a team of professionals providing a full array of capabilities for the restoration of natural systems. A special emphasis on rivers, wetlands, and enhancement of habitat for endangered species.  2002…

SOUTHWEST UTAH DIRECTOR, Grand Canyon Trust, St. George, UT. Responsible for the management and attainment of the Trust’s goals throughout the Virgin River watershed. A primary objective was the protection of three endangered native fish species in collaboration with private landowners and public agencies as a participant in the Virgin River Program. Developed a restoration plan to save dying cottonwood population in Zion Canyon.  Provided an analysis of habitat loss in LaVerkin and Ash Creek. 1999 - 2002

AREA DIRECTOR/PROJECT DIRECTOR, The Nature Conservancy, Peoria, IL. Managed a successful effort to engage and empower local farmers and community leaders to develop a watershed management plan to protect and improve water quality in the Mackinaw River, Illinois’ most biologically diverse river. Managed numerous projects to restore natural function within this watershed. Promoted to Area Director with responsibility for management of Conservancy properties (5000 ac) and programs throughout central Illinois. Managed an annual operating budget of about $1,000,000. 1994-98.

NATIONAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, May Manufacturing, Denver, CO. Established an aggressive, low cost, national marketing campaign to introduce a new environmental equipment concept and product line. Developed successful private and public sector models, including Loveland, CO. Produced sales video, generated national and international media, and increased annual sales from $30,000 to over $400,000.1990-94.

REGIONAL MANAGER, 2020 Recycle Centers, Los Angeles, CA. Managed a private venture start-up to implement California’s ‘bottle bill’. Accomplished the establishment of over 200 recycling centers within four months. Managed a staff of 230. 1987-88.

As CONSULTANT, won a multi-million dollar contract for Waste Management, Inc. with City of Seattle to implement curbside recycling collection, one of the first such programs in that nation. (1985-87) As DIVISION MANAGER, established a seven state aluminum can recovery and processing business. (1980-85) As PROGRAM PLANNER, developed the City of Seattle’s successful recycling strategy, introduced variable trash rates, and achieved 24% recycling rate. (1979-80) Established one of the first curbside recycling programs in the nation at Fremont Recycling, established Washington State Recycling Hotline, the Washington State Recycling Association, and Seattle Recycling, Inc., (1974 -79)



BS Ecology, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 1974

Coursework toward an MA in Deep Ecology at Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO 1992-93

Coursework in river function and hydrology by Dave Rosgen and Luna Leopold, also by The Nature Conservancy, business planning by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, teambuilding, negotiation, writing, and economic development, including ‘50 for Colorado’, an in-depth look at Colorado's economy.

Senior Fellow, Independence Institute, a non-profit think tank, Golden, CO 1990 -1993

Published essay ‘Closing The Loop’ in The Next West, Island Press, 1997

email to: James P McMahon


"When you drink the water, think of the spring"


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