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Land Trust Alliance Award Recipients

Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award

2013: Larry Kueter
2012: Peter Stein
2011: Audrey Rust
2010: Jay Espy
2009: Jamie Williams
2008: Laurie Wayburn
2007: Mark Ackelson
2006: Darby Bradley

National Land Trust Excellence Award

2013: Alachua Conservation Trust (FL)
2012: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (MI) and Leelanau Conservancy (MI)
2011: Scenic Hudson (NY)
2010: Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (MI)
2009: Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (NH)
2008: Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust (RI)
2007: Coalition for Buzzards Bay – Bay Lands Center (MA)

National Conservation Service Award

2013: Nancy Hamill Winter, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (IL)
2012: Wade Martin, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
2011: Tommy Wyche, Naturaland Trust (SC)
2010: Anne Codey, North Shore Land Alliance (NY)
2009: Howard Corwin, Greater Lovell Land Trust (ME)
2008: Jane Rau, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (AZ)
2007: Charlie Leach, Farmington Land Trust (CT)

Award History

Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award

2013: Larry Kueter (CO)

Currently, Larry Kueter is a solo practitioner, serving as legal counsel to the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT) and has served as legal counsel to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust since its creation in 1995. On behalf of CCLT, he has played a key role in obtaining approval of legislation to clarify property tax burdens on conservation easements, to provide a tax credit for conservation easements in Colorado and to permit post mortem donations of conservation easements. He has been instrumental in the groundbreaking work done in protecting agricultural lands, including the completion of more than 400 conservation transactions and the protection of nearly 600,000 acres of land.

Additionally, Kueter has been chair of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission since its creation in 2006, and has served on the Land Trust Standards and Practices Revision Committee and co-chaired the Standards and Practices Program Design Steering Committee, which developed the initial framework for accreditation. Kueter has also served as a member of the board of the Land Trust Alliance since 2006.
Kueter has served as an Adjunct Professor in Environmental and Natural Resource Law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. He has a J.D. from the University of Denver - Sturm College of Law, an M.A. from Wayne State University, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His vision and guidance have helped to shape the sustainability of land trusts for generations to come.

2012: Peter Stein (NH)

Peter joined The Lyme Timber Company in 1990 and provides leadership in the development and structuring of conservation-oriented forestland and rural land purchases and dispositions. Peter also manages the Company’s conservation advisory business. Prior to joining The Lyme Timber Company, Peter was senior vice president of The Trust for Public Land. Peter lectures extensively at graduate schools and professional conferences on conservation investment schemes and strategies. He is a member of the boards of the National Alliance of Forestland Owners, the Forest History Society and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation. In addition, he is a former board chair of the Land Trust Alliance, served as a founding commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Rose Smart Growth Real Estate Fund No. 1. Peter earned a B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975, was a Loeb Fellow and received a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1981.

Peter Stein was selected for the award for his vision and dedication to land conservation, which have resulted in extraordinary gains for the land trust movement. Peter’s commitment to working closely with individual communities developing strategic and viable conservation plans has produced remarkable benefits for both people and conservation.

2011: Audrey Rust (CA)

In her 25 years of service at Peninsula Open Space Trust, first as executive director and then as president, she has worked in partnership with public agencies and private landowners to bring permanent protection to over 50,000 acres of open space lands. She was one of the first in California to approach land conservation at the landscape-level and is a leader in inspiring other land trusts to think bigger about fundraising. Audrey led numerous fundraising seminars in the early days of Rally, imparting her knowledge to others and challenging organizations to rise to the next level. Recognized across the country as a conservation innovator and champion, she has helped protect local landscapes that are now part of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, California State Parks, county and city parks, regional open space preserves and private farmland.

2010: Jay Espy, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (ME)

In January of 2008, Jay joined the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation as its first executive director. Mrs. Sewall’s legacy will continue to focus on conservation, animal welfare and social needs, primarily in Maine. For the prior two decades, Jay served as president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. During his tenure, Maine Coast Heritage Trust accelerated its land protection efforts along Maine’s entire coast, conserving more than 125,000 acres and establishing the Maine Land Trust Network, which helps build capacity of local land trusts throughout Maine. He also led the Trust’s successful Campaign for the Coast, raising more than $100 million for conservation and doubling the amount of protected land on Maine’s coast and islands. He serves on the board of Portland Time Banks and the Canadian Land Trust Alliance and is a former chair of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization serving land trusts throughout the United States.

Before joining MCHT in 1985, Jay served as an environmental planner in the Washington, DC and Concord, MA offices of ERT, Inc., an environmental consulting firm.   He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds masters degrees from the Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Jay was recognized for the way he has pioneered the collaborative approach and set the trend for other land trusts, his impact across the land conservation movement and his mentoring qualities. Jay’s work and leadership has evolved over the years, working his way from the local to the regional to the national level.

2009: Jamie Williams, The Nature Conservancy

Jamie Williams is a pioneer in collaborative conservation work in the West. Jamie joined The Nature Conservancy in 1992 and earned a reputation for setting the standard for what it means to do “community-based” conservation. He has accomplished much for the land conservation movement through the power of friendship and understanding. Jamie’s focus on landscape-scale conservation through incredible collaboration has made a huge to impact on preserving our natural habitats. Jamie leads by example, he educates, he inspires. He exemplifies the inclusive spirit of the land trust movement in America.

2008: Laurie Wayburn (CA)

Laurie Wayburn is the co-founder and president of the Pacific Forest Trust, whose mission is to preserve, enhance and restore America’s private forests, sustaining their many public benefits. She has 25 years experience in conservation-based sustainable development, nationally and internationally; she has served on the boards of numerous entities to further forest conservation and stewardship, including the Seventh American Forest Congress, The University of California Center for Forestry, The Oregon Board of Forest Incentives Group, the Society of American Foresters Certification Task Force, and the Board of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. She has also served on the boards of the US Man and Biosphere Committee for Biosphere Reserves and The Compton Foundation. Laurie is a frequent writer and speaker on the topic of private forest conservation and incentives therefore, including serving as a lead advocate for the significant climate benefits of forests. She most recently co-authored “America’s Private Forests: Status and Stewardship,” (Island Press 2001) and “Forest Carbon in the United States: Opportunities and Options for Private Lands.”

2007: Mark Ackelson (IA)

Mark Ackelson embodies the leadership qualities emblematic in this award. He was a driving force behind the creating of the Mississippi Blufflands Alliance, has chaired the board of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and was a founding member of Land Trust Alliance Board. He has been an early leader in shaping the provisions of the Farm Bill, a master of complex and ethical land dealing and is very generous about sharing his time and expertise with others. He has had a tremendous impact on the broader land trust community and epitomizes all of the criteria of the Kingsbury Browne Award.

2006: Darby Bradley (VT)

Darby Bradley, former President of the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), served 25 years on its staff and before that, worked with VLT’s founder to set up the organization and complete some of its early conservation projects.  A Dartmouth graduate, he received a law degree from University of Washington Law School in 1972, joined the Vermont Land Trust as counsel in 1981 and has served as its president since 1990.. During his tenure, VLT has helped landowners in communities throughout Vermont, to permanently protect more than 440,000 acres—roughly 7.5% of Vermont’s privately-owned land. In the words of VLT’s Board Chair David Marvin, "When future generations look back at the early history of the Vermont Land Trust, they will understand how their legacy of conserved land is also one of people and communities connected to the land.  Their gratitude will join ours to Darby Bradley’s leadership for shaping that legacy with passion, commitment and humility."

National Land Trust Excellence Award

2013: Alachua Conservation Trust (FL)

In Florida, Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) is one of only two local land trusts that are in the top 50 nationwide in both acres and value of lands protected. In 2009 they became accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. ACT has set the curve in diversity of projects – from easements, to historic preservation, to outright acquisitions, to environmental education. ACT has partnered with many conservation organizations along the way, including ongoing projects with The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, The Conservation Fund, Putnam Land Conservancy and the Conservation Trust for Florida.

ACT has become the institution that most clearly projects this community's steadfast support of north Florida's natural beauty and rich heritage, on which we all agree is a legacy we must take responsibility for passing on to future generations.

2012: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (MI) and Leelanau Conservancy (MI)

These two land trusts were selected to receive this award to honor their amazing leadership and collaborative effort in representing policy issues facing land trusts across the nation. Grand Traverse, Leelanau and their partners across Michigan have been successful in engaging Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow as a champion for the Farm Bill’s conservation easement programs. Thanks to their countless targeted meetings, site visits, fact sheets, letters from business leaders, and other communications, the chair merged these programs in a way that fully embraces the successful model of providing grants for local land trusts to purchase perpetual easements. Not only do they lead by example with collaborative policy efforts they are also active in a region-wide effort to develop the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan, successfully redefining “restoration” to include land acquisition and conservation easements.

2011: Scenic Hudson (NY)

This Award is given for Scenic Hudson’s collaborative and energetic approach to conservation, successfully bringing together 16 organizations through the Saving the Land that Matters Most Campaign. Since 1963, the organization has been protecting and restoring the majestic Hudson Valley and is a true leader in land trust excellence. Scenic Hudson has conserved nearly 30,000 acres that contribute to the scenic fabric, ecological integrity, and agricultural viability of the Hudson River Valley, and also which unlock undeveloped riverfronts and other open space to access and enjoyment by the public.

2010: Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (MI)

Since 1991, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) has been a leader in the conservation community through its extensive stewardship program.  SWMLC has engaged hundreds of volunteers at preserves, implemented and overseen over a dozen active habitat restoration projects, collaborated with a wide variety of partners to secure funding, and has led trainings across the country. SWMLC has also created an innovative model for project prioritization that includes a broad range of stakeholders and the use of GIS analysis to identify areas for protection and management. Through its collaborative approach with diverse partners, SWMLC is a leader in preservation and restoration of important landscapes.

2009: Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (NH)

This organization, since its creation in 1901, has been a leader in collaborative efforts to protect the natural resources throughout the state of New Hampshire. The Forest Society holds conservation easements with numerous municipalities, provides an executory role in over 125 easements held by other organizations and has joined with nearly every major land trust in the state in completing or advocating for land protection projects.  Today the Forest Society owns 165 Forest Reservations covering 48,000 acres and holds interests in more than 700 conservation easements and restrictions protecting more than 117,000 acres, statewide. Through consensus building and collaboration, the state’s oldest and largest land trust is a proven leader.

2008: Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust (RI)

This group of seven volunteers has protected 1,650 acres or 11% of their town. Despite high coastal land costs, suburban sprawl, and a booming second-home market, they have succeeded in protecting active working landscapes through their creative partnerships. Partners include the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Ag Lands Preservation Commission, NRCS, The Nature Conservancy, Champlin Foundations, the Sakonnet Preservation Association and other private donors. Their easements require continued farming and require tenant farmers to donate fixed dollar amounts of in-season drops to the RI Community Food Bank. They are also active in state-wide policy work and have worked to help pass a $70 million open space bond.

2007: Coalition for Buzzards Bay – Bay Lands Center (MA)

The Bay Lands Center has been instrumental in helping the region’s 10 mostly all-volunteer land trusts to protect over 3,000 acres of land. By establishing strategic partnerships with local land trusts, towns, large private landowners, as well as other regional land trusts and agencies at the federal, state and local levels, it has been able to get results that would not have been possible without the leadership, synergy and momentum that are possible when groups collaborate on a common goal.

National Conservation Service Award

2012: Wade Martin, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Wade is being recognized for his leadership work with land trusts and landowners across New Jersey. He has volunteered countless professional hours providing financial advice, estate planning and building collaborative relationships for the benefit of land conservation. Wade’s devoted partnership with D&R Greenway Land Trust resulted in the culmination of the first national training program for land trusts and financial advisors. Twenty-nine participants, representing eight land trusts, were paired with financial advisors and estate planning attorneys from their region. Thanks to Wade and his initiatives we’re seeing preservation projects move forward in Colorado, Michigan and Massachusetts.

2011: Tommy Wyche, Naturaland Trust (SC)

Tommy was recognized for his work on the protection of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, over 100,000 acres of land in North and South Carolina. To spearhead the effort, he founded Naturalands Trust in 1972. He has worked tirelessly and creatively since then to protect this important landscape - meeting with individual landowners one-by-one, using his photography skills to create books to build support for his campaign, and launching letter writing campaigns.

2010: Anne Codey, North Shore Land Alliance (NY)

Anne gives generously of herself through her work with The Nature Conservancy, North Shore Land Alliance, North Shore Audubon and the Fish and Wildlife Service.  She is devoted to protecting open space in her native Nassau County, NY, maintaining trails, monitoring preserves and managing invasive vegetation. Anne shares her passion with children in the community and her most recent project is working with Audubon New York to bring their unique program, "For the Birds," to three low/moderate income communities in Nassau County, Long Island. This program uses birds to connect people to the environment where they live.

2009: Howard Corwin, Greater Lovell Land Trust (ME)

Dr. Corwin was a founder of the Greater Lovell Land Trust (ME) in 1985 and served as its president until 2008.  To assist land trusts statewide, he helped create the Maine Land Trust Network. He has organized volunteer efforts and secured funding to combat Eurasian milfoil and also worked to protect groundwater resources through local regulatory control of aquifers throughout the state. We applaud his tireless passion for the spectacular resources of Maine and highly effective collaboration with other groups.

2008: Jane Rau, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (AZ)

Co-founder and Director Emeritus of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Jane has worked tirelessly for 40 years to protect the Arizona she loves. She has successfully influenced public officials and the community to help establish a regional open space system, and has spoken at numerous town hall forums, neighborhood meetings and rallies to encourage Arizona citizens to get involved. At the age of 86, she continues to volunteer on a weekly basis building trails and removing invasive plants on the Preserve, and has received the honorary rank of Master Steward.

2007: Charlie Leach, Farmington Land Trust (CT)

Suffering a savage encroachment, and finding that Connecticut’s 1726 law gave no chance of redress, Charlie Leach and the entire Farmington Land Trust board, helped state representatives design and introduce legislation, testified at environment committee hearings, lobbied legislators and collaborated with other environmental groups in the state.  The result was model legislation which prescribes severe penalties for tree-cutting on protected lands and allows land trusts to recover legal fees from encroachers. Though a small land trust, they have become a vigilant and proactive force in the community.

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