Will Rogers, who as head of The Trust for Public Land has helped protect millions of acres of land and build the capacity of the land conservation movement across the United States, has been named the new Kingsbury Browne Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the winner of the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award from the Land Trust Alliance.
Rogers has served since 1998 as CEO of The Trust for Public Land, an organization he joined in 1991. He has been a key figure in the growth of land conservation in recent decades, overseeing the protection of 2.5 million acres of land and developing new tools and capacities for conservation professionals and organizations. These include the Conservation Finance Program, which has helped generate $68 billion through state and local ballot measures, a technology-enabled “greenprinting" process to help communities map and prioritize conservation, and the Conservation Almanac, a repository of information on conservation protections in all fifty states.
Prior to becoming CEO of the Trust for Public Land, Rogers served as director of the organization’s California, Hawaii, and Nevada operations. Previously, he managed urban real estate development in Chicago, and worked as a commercial beekeeper in Bogotá, Colombia.
The fellowship and award were announced Saturday at the Land Trust Alliance’s Rally 2017: The National Land Conservation Conference in Denver. They are named after the conservationist who inspired the founding of the Land Trust Alliance in 1982. As part of the fellowship Rogers will engage in research, writing and mentoring under the Lincoln Institute's Department of Planning and Urban Form.
The fellowship is just one piece of the Lincoln Institute’s active engagement in land conservation, which includes the publication of the Policy Focus Report Large Landscape Conservation: A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action and the book Conservation Catalysts, and the establishment of the Network for Landscape Conservation and the International Land Conservation Network, groups of leaders and innovators on the forefront of today's conservation strategies.
The Kingsbury Browne fellowship and award are in their twelfth year. Previous winners were David Hartwell, an environmental leader who has helped mobilize billions of dollars for conservation projects across Minnesota; Steve Small, a legal pioneer who paved the way to make conservation easements tax-deductible in the U.S.; Jean Hocker, a former president of the Land Trust Alliance and longtime board member at the Lincoln Institute; 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.