The National Audubon Society announced today that Spencer B. Beebe, founder and chairman of Ecotrust and Ecotrust Forest Management will be the third recipient of Audubon's Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership. The award includes a $100,000 cash prize, making it one of the richest environmental recognitions in the world, and is given to individuals who have dedicated their lives to on-the-ground conservation.
"Spencer Beebe has devoted his career to demonstrating that conservation makes good economic sense," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. "We're very glad to be able to recognize his efforts with this prestigious prize."
Beebe founded Ecotrust in 1991 to bring a global perspective to the conservation of the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Ecotrust operates under the core belief that economic development and conservation can be integrated in a way that is mutually beneficial for both communities and the environment.
Prior to founding Ecotrust, Beebe was founding president of Conservation International and served as president of The Nature Conservancy's international program. He authored the book "Cache: Creating Natural Economies," which explores ways of integrating social, economic and ecological well-being.
"There are many, many people who have devoted their lives to conservation and are worthy of this recognition. I am indeed grateful to Dan Lufkin and the Audubon Society. It is time that we rediscover human behavior based on nature's principals," said Beebe.
The Dan W. Lufkin Prize is administered by the National Audubon Society to recognize Dan W. Lufkin's lifetime commitment to the environment by honoring lifelong conservationists. Lufkin served as Connecticut's first commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and was also one of the founders of Earth Day. The Lufkin Prize is awarded through an endowment established by Lufkin's family and friends.
"Spencer Beebe is a remarkable and visionary conservation leader," said Dan W. Lufkin. "His ingenuity and tenacity have changed the face of conservation around the world, with tremendous results for people and wildlife alike. His focus on the connections between communities and ecosystems creates real change and real progress, particularly as it impacts land use. I'm so pleased that he will be the next recipient of the Lufkin Prize."
Beebe will accept the award at Audubon's 2015 Gala Dinner in New York.
For more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $800 million in capital assets at work for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust's many innovations include co-founding an environmental bank, starting the world's first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org.