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10/14/2011

Bay Area Conservationist Audrey Rust Named Kingsbury Browne Fellow

For immediate release
Contact: Anthony Flint 617-503-2116

   CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 14, 2011) -- Audrey C. Rust, president emeritus of the Peninsula Open Space Trust based in Palo Alto, Calif., was named the Kingsbury Browne Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
   Rust, who was executive director and then president of the Bay Area land trust from 1987 to this year, was also named the winner of the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award by the Land Trust Alliance in recognition of outstanding leadership, innovation and creativity in land conservation. The announcements were made at the Land Trust Alliance’s Rally 2011: The National Land Conservation Conference, in Milwaukee.
  The fellowship, named after Boston attorney and land conservation pioneer Kingsbury Browne and in its sixth year, has previously been awarded to Jay Espy, executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation; Jamie Williams, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Northern Rockies Initiative; Laurie A. Wayburn, co-founder of the Pacific Forest Trust; Mark Ackelson, president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; and Darby Bradley, president of the Vermont Land Trust. In the fellowship, Rust will engage in researching, writing and mentoring.
  Under her leadership, the Peninsula Open Space Trust partnered with public agencies and private landowners to protect more than 53,000 acres of open space lands in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The achievements ranged from Cowell Ranch, 1,200 acres of coastal bluff and agricultural soils just south of the city of Half Moon Bay, Calif.; 20,000 acres on the San Mateo Coast; and 1,623-acre Bair Island, one of the South Bay’s largest restorable wetlands, now part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
     The Saving the Endangered Coast campaign is the largest land protection initiative ever completed by any local U.S. land trust. Launched in 2001 with two $50 million gifts from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the campaign protected spectacular open lands, including 4,262-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra, near Montara, Calif., now slated to transfer to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
     Before coming to POST, Ms. Rust served as the director of development and membership for the national Sierra Club; directed west coast capital giving programs for Yale University; and served in various development capacities for Stanford University and Vassar College.  She graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs with a B.A. in English and education. 
   Ms. Rust has served on the boards of numerous local, state and national organizations, primarily in the conservation and housing arena. She has received the Times Mirror-Chevron National Conservationist of the Year Award; the League of California Voters Environmental Leadership Award; the Garden Club of America’s top environmental honor, the Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal; the Jacqueline Kennedy Award from JFK University for her achievements in land conservation; and the 2010 ATHENA Award from the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce for demonstrating excellence and creativity in business, contributing to the quality of life in her community, and helping other women to realize their leadership potential.
    Ms. Rust lives in Menlo Park, Calif. She is an avid gardener, draws and paints, and takes every opportunity she can to hike on lands she helped protect.
  Kingsbury Browne and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy had a long history together.  In 1980, as a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Browne first envisioned a network of land conservation trusts, and convened conservation leaders through the Lincoln Institute, which ultimately led to the formation of the national Land Trust Exchange -- later renamed the Land Trust Alliance -- in 1982.  Browne is considered the father of America’s modern land trust movement, a network of land trusts operating in every state of the nation. Together these land trusts have conserved more than 37 million acres, an area the size of New England.
  The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy began the Kingsbury Browne Fellowship in association with the Land Trust Alliance offering its first Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award in 2006. Winners are chosen from a group of their peers, honoring lifetime contributions to the field of land conservation and work reflecting the values that Kingsbury Browne brought to his own seminal achievements.
     The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. that works in three ways to save the places people love -- increasing the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected; enhancing the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using best practices; and ensuring the permanence of conservation through legislation and resources to  protect land over time.
  The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high quality education and research, the Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.

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