The National Audubon Society will honor two exceptional conservationists at the organization’s first gala to jointly award the Audubon Medal and the inaugural Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership. The event will take place at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, January 17, 2013.
The Audubon Medal is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of conservation and environmental protection. Launched in 1947, the Medal is one of the highest honors in conservation. Only 51 people have received the honor in Audubon's 107-year history. Recipients have included Walt Disney, Rachel Carson, Ted Turner, Edward O. Wilson, Jimmy Carter and the Rockefeller family. “We are pleased to be able to award the Audubon Medal to Louis Bacon in recognition of his significant and diverse efforts to preserve and protect key natural ecosystems” said Holt Thrasher, Chairman of the Board of National Audubon.
- Louis Moore Bacon, Founder and CEO of Moore Capital Management, LP, has been advocating for the conservation and protection of natural resources for more than two decades through his Moore Charitable Foundation. Mr. Bacon has worked with over one hundred conservation organizations. He is a leading supporter of the National Audubon Society and its state programs in Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina and New York, and is a founding member of Audubon’s Rachel Carson Women in Conservation Award Council. His conservation efforts include leading a successful campaign to preserve Clifton Point, Bahamas; protecting 208 acres for the benefit and use of the Bahamian people and paving the way for the creation of today’s Clifton Heritage National Park; donating a conservation easement on Robins Island, ‘the Jewel of the Peconic’; creating a haven for shorebirds while preserving 435 acres in Peconic Bay, Long Island; working with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust to preserve 31 acres at Springer’s Point on North Carolina’s Outer Banks; protecting Cow Neck Farm, a 540-acre conservation easement in Eastern Long Island, New York, as well as Tern Island – located west of Cow Neck – a 50-acre preserve that protects habitat for a variety of shorebirds; and saving a maritime grassland preserve in New Suffolk, Long Island. Mr. Bacon supports the Everglades Foundation, which protects the Florida wetlands from pollution and he founded, and is the most significant funder of Waterkeeper Alliance. His unwavering commitment to land and water conservation has been recognized by The Nature Conservancy and Hudson Riverkeeper, and he was the 2010 recipient of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts’ Ranch Conservationist of the Year award.
The Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership is a new award, created to recognize Dan W. Lufkin’s lifetime commitment to the environment and developed to honor an individual who has dedicated his or her life to on-the-ground conservation. This will be the inaugural presentation of the Prize. The awardee receives a $100,000 prize, and 10 recipients will be announced over the next 10 years.
“This award will become a signature prize in the field of conservation innovation. The scale of the challenges we face in conservation demand big, bold ideas. Dan Lufkin and his family have made it possible to honor and encourage true heroes,” said David Yarnold, Audubon’s President and CEO.
- George Archibald, winner of Audubon’s first Dan W. Lufkin Prize, is the founder and leader of the International Crane Foundation (IFC). He has devoted his life to protecting cranes around the world and helping environmentalists to understand the global context of bird conservation. He is famous for raising crane chicks in captivity, imprinting chicks on people dressed to resemble adult cranes as closely as possible, and using ultra-light aircraft to guide young cranes on their first migrations.
In 1973, with fellow Cornell University student Ron Sauey, George Archibald founded ICF, which in 39 years has grown to be a world-renowned organization. Dr. Archibald is a true conservation ambassador who uses his own unique brand of “crane diplomacy” to work in sensitive places, persuading countries and people to come together behind habitat and bird protection efforts. From Buddhist monks in Bhutan who see cranes as spiritual beings, to Chinese officials balancing economic development and land conservation, George is able to connect through the magic of cranes and leverage people’s interests into effective conservation actions.
Tom Brokaw is scheduled to emcee the evening, and Bette Midler will sing. In addition to the honorees, speakers at the event will include Audubon’s President and CEO, David Yarnold; Audubon’s Board Chair, Holt Thrasher III; and Dan Lufkin.
The gala will take place in the ballroom of The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street in New York City. Reception is at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 8:00 p.m. Tables of 10 range from $10,000 to $100,000. Funds raised from the dinner will be used to support Audubon’s hemispheric bird conservation priorities. For more information, please call 845-260-2785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.