McCarrthy moved to idaho in 1977 to work trail crew in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness for the U.S. Forest Service. He later ran a range crew and worked on ranches in Hells Canyon and the Salmon River country. He started writing about winderness as a reporter for he Lewiston Morning Tribune, where he also covered cops, courts, arts, and agriculture for 10 years. He swited to environmental organizing and advocacy for two decades, as the conservation director for the Idaho Conservation league and Idaho Forest campaign durector for the Wilderness Society. And he his now a jazz disc jockey at Radio Boise where he hosts the “Beyond the Sky” show.