CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 9, 2015) – Steve Small, a legal pioneer who paved the way to make conservation easements tax-deductible in the U.S., was named as the next Kingsbury Browne Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Small 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 2015: The National Land Conservation Conference, in Sacramento.
“Steve is an indefatigable source of energy and creativity for the use of easements and land conservation in America,” said James Levitt, Manager of Land Conservation Programs for the Lincoln Institute.
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 1,100 member land trusts.
Small is a nationally recognized expert in private land protection. A former attorney-advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, he wrote the federal Income Tax Regulations on Conservation Easements, a key framework for private land conservation. He has been involved in the protection of more than 1.5 million acres of land, working with more than 500 property owners in more than 45 states on land conservation strategies for farms, ranches, forestland, family estates and coastal and island properties. Small has given more than 400 speeches and workshops, including numerous workshops at the Land Trust Alliance's Rally.
In the fellowship, he 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 tenth year. Previous winners were 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.
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.
A special short film celebrating Browne’s life and career can be viewed here.
The Lincoln Institute initiated the Kingsbury Browne Fellowship in association with the Land Trust Alliance, which offered the accompanying Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award, in 2006. Winners are chosen on the basis of honoring lifetime contributions to the field of land conservation and work reflecting the values that Kingsbury Browne brought to his own seminal achievements.
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
The Lincoln Institute is actively engaged no the topic of land conservation, with the publication of the Working Paper Cowboys and Conservation, the Policy Focus Report Conserving State Trust Lands and the book Conservation Catalysts, 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.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is the leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high quality education and research, the Lincoln Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.
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