Jean Hocker, a former president of the Land Trust Alliance and longtime board member at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, was named as the next Kingsbury Browne Fellow at the Lincoln Institute. Hocker was also named the winner of the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award by the Land Trust Alliance in recognition of outstanding leadership, innovation and passion in land conservation. The announcement was made at the Land Trust Alliance's Rally 2014: The National Land Conservation Conference, in Providence last night.
The Kingsbury Browne fellowship and award is named for the Boston tax lawyer whose gathering of conservation leaders from across the country in 1981 at the Lincoln Institute evolved into the Land Trust Alliance, today representing more than 1,200 member land trusts. A special short film celebrating Browne’s life and career was shown at the Rally welcoming dinner.
“I am truly humbled to receive the Kingsbury Browne Award,” Hocker said. “Over the decades, I’ve seen land trusts build on Kingsbury Browne’s vision to become a sophisticated force for conserving and stewarding irreplaceable land resources. I know that folks connected with land trusts are special – smart, dedicated, hard-working, results-oriented. To receive this award is to feel an invaluable kinship with my friends and colleagues who make land conservation a reality.”
During her tenure from 1987 to 2002 as president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance, Hocker played a key role in shaping the organization, ensuring land trusts have the tools they need to do their critical work, such as guidance through Land Trust Standards and Practices, extensive educational materials, resources for direct services, and a key voice advocating for federal funding and tax incentives for private land conservation. She continues to be active, consulting with land trusts and their boards, chairing the board of The Wilderness Land Trust, and serving recently as a member of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. In the fellowship, she will engage in research, writing and mentoring, under the Lincoln Institute's Department of Planning and Urban Form.
The Kingsbury Browne fellowship and award is in its ninth year. Previous winners were Larry Kueter, a Denver attorney specializing in agricultural and ranchland easements in the West; Peter Stein, managing director of Lyme Timber Co; Audrey C. Rust, president emeritus of the Peninsula Open Space Trust based in Palo Alto, Calif.; Jay Espy, executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation; Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society; 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 1980, as a fellow at the Lincoln Institute, Kingsbury Browne first envisioned a network of land conservation trusts, and convened conservation leaders at the Lincoln Institute in 1981. That gathering led to the formation of the national Land Trust Exchange, which was later renamed the Land Trust Alliance. 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. Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Land Trust Alliance, based in Washington, D.C. and with several regional offices, represents 1,200 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide.
The Land Trust Alliance rally kicked off a busy fall for the Lincoln Institute on the topic of land conservation, with the publication of the Policy Focus Report Large Landscape Conservation and the establishment of The Practitioners Network for Large Landscape Conservation, a group of leaders and innovators on the forefront of today's conservation strategies. Prior to the Rally this year, Lincoln Institute Fellow James N. Levitt brought together three dozen representatives of private and civic land conservation organizations from 16 countries all around the world, to consider formation of the International Land Conservation Alliance, a similar network.
Next month, the Lincoln Institute is a major partner in the National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation in Washington D.C. October 23-24. Sally Jewell, the United States Secretary of the Interior, will present a keynote address at the conference, which will showcase conservation innovations and landscape-scale solutions across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Krysta Harden, United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, also will address the group, identifying key conservation provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. In November, a Lincoln Institute delegation will travel to Sydney, Australia, for the IUCN World Parks Congress, where a new book, Conservation Catalysts: The Academy as Nature’s Agent, edited by Jim Levitt, will be launched.