Forbes magazine named noted conservation philanthropist Louis Moore Bacon one of the world’s greenest billionaires, calling his conservation efforts “a bold mission to save the American West.” The article in the April issue of the leading business publication was the second time this year that Bacon was recognized for his environmental conservation efforts.
In January, 2013, he received one of the most prestigious honors in the world of conservation, the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Medal. It was only the 52nd time the award was presented in the Society’s 108-year history. When Bacon joined former recipients including Walt Disney, Rachel Carson, Ted Turner, Jimmy Carter and the Rockefeller family, the Society’s chairman Holt Thrasher called him an “exceptional conservationist” and said Bacon was being recognized for his “significant and diverse efforts to preserve and protect key natural ecosystems.”
Bacon has advocated and supported conservation and protection of natural resources for two decades and his philanthropic efforts have attracted the attention of many leaders, in the United States and abroad, including the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Raised as an avid outdoorsman, even as a young man Louis developed a reverence for the natural world. His lifelong passion for land and water conservation has benefited many communities where his conservation efforts have made a real difference to those who live, work and vacation in those places, including here in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
Last year Bacon joined New York City and the National Park Service as a philanthropic partner in the future restoration of 10,000 acres of parkland in Jamaica Bay, Queens.
“This is an important example of the great things that can happen when different levels of government and philanthropists like Louis Bacon work together,” the Mayor said.
In 1992, Bacon created the Moore Charitable Foundation to protect critical land and water resources and support community programs and sustainable environmental efforts directed at conservation. Since inception, the Foundation has provided significant funding to more than 200 local, national and international conservation organizations.
According to Monte Burke, in a profile appearing in the October 8, 2012 issue of Forbes, “until a (recent) transmission line battle, Bacon’s conservation efforts did not attract nationwide attention. Effectively outed by this battle, Bacon has become more accepting of his public role.” It was this battle to protect pristine land from becoming the site of an electric transmission line “that, ironically, made him shed some of his precious privacy and embrace his heretofore anonymous role as one of the nation’s leading conservationists.” Bacon ultimately protected the land in perpetuity by signing the largest single conservation easement in Colorado and helping to create the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, which is the 558th unit of the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System.
Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold joined the voices congratulating Bacon this week on the Forbes recognition.
“Bacon holds a special place in today’s increasingly eco-conscious world, helping through his actions to sensitize others to the need to protect the environment,” said Yarnold. “Bacon was awarded the Audubon Medal because of his conservation leadership. Throughout the years, Louis’ passion and determination have preserved important places and improved people’s lives.”
The Forbes piece credits him and another green billionaire, CNN founder Ted Turner, with “preserving land by ranching it or giving it over for conservation.”
Others named in the Forbes article demonstrating the financial viability of investing in renewable energy or preserving the legacy of the environment include what the author described as “consummate risk-taker” Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, manufacturer of the first electric sports car, and German wind turbine owner Aloys Wobben. Also named were Christy Walton of Wal-mart funds and deep dedicated pockets to preservation and Sir Richard Branson, who flies his Virgin Airlines on eco-smart biofuel.
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world.