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William D. Ruckelshaus to Receive 2012 NatureServe Conservation Award
Accolade honors public and private commitment to science and significant contributions to protection of biodiversity
(Arlington, VA., February 16, 2012)—NatureServe will present William D. Ruckelshaus with the 2012 Conservation Award during a plenary session at Biodiversity Without Boundaries 2012 in Portland, Oregon, on April 24, 2012. The award recognizes Mr. Ruckelshaus’ distinguished career and the unique character, scale, and diversity of his contributions to the protection of the natural environment.
Best known for his tenure as the first (and fifth) administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Ruckelshaus has long demonstrated a commitment to science as a guide to policy in both the public and private sectors. The award honors the many contributions that the Indiana native has made to biodiversity conservation in both of his adopted Washingtons—D.C. and state—and beyond, including:
- His principled service emphasizing the value of science in guiding public policy during two appointments as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- His formal representation of the United States at the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (informally known as the Brundtland Commission) from 1983 to 1987.
- His appointment to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, which developed recommendations for a coordinated and comprehensive national ocean policy.
- His role as U.S. envoy to the Pacific Salmon Commission, responsible for setting long-term goals and implementing a bilateral treaty to benefit the salmon and the United States and Canada.
- His establishment and leadership of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, which provides Washington and the Pacific Northwest with a forum for collaborative problem-solving and conflict resolution on natural resource and policy issues.
- His past chairmanship of the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board, where he led efforts to achieve overall salmon recovery, and of the Puget Sound Partnership, a community effort to develop and implement science-based priorities that spur action and ensure measurable success for the restoration of Puget Sound.
Mr. Ruckelshaus possesses an equally lengthy private-sector record of service and is currently a strategic director in the Madrona Venture Group and a principal in Madrona Investment Group. He was previously chairman (1988-1999) and CEO (1988-1995) of Browning-Ferris Industries and senior vice president for law and corporate affairs (1976-1983) and a board member at Weyerhaueser Company.
Mr. Ruckelshaus is a past board member of Isilon Systems, Nordstrom, Inc., Cummins Engine Company, Monsanto, Solutia, Pfizer, Coinstar, Pharmacia, and Church & Dwight, and currently serves on the board of TVW, Long Live the Kings, Meridian Institute, and The Energy Foundation. He is the founding director and board member of the Initiative for Global Development and a board member emeritus of World Resources Institute and the Ruckelshaus Institute at the University of Wyoming.
The NatureServe Conservation Award seeks to recognize individuals who significantly increase the public profile of the importance of biodiversity conservation; pursue innovative and creative approaches to and impacts on biodiversity conservation; set an example for others in their use of biodiversity information in making decisions; and inspire others to take action towards conserving biodiversity.
Mr. Ruckelshaus is the third winner of the award, joining previous winners from 2011, biologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Edward O. Wilson, and in 2010, Dr. Robert E. Jenkins, founder of the NatureServe network’s natural heritage methodology.
NatureServe is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action and a member of the IUCN Red List Partnership. Through its network of 81 natural heritage programs and conservation data centers in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, NatureServe provides a unique body of detailed scientific information and conservation biodiversity expertise about the plants, animals, and ecosystems of the Americas. Learn more at www.natureserve.org.