The Conservation Lands Foundation today announced that founding Board Chairman, Ed Norton, Sr., is now Trustee Emeritus and the Board of Trustees has elected Mark Headley as the new chair of the Board of Trustees. Hilary Tompkins, Chris Killingsworth, and Greg Moore were elected as new Vice Chairs. Trustees also approved the addition of Brian Vallo to the board.
The new leadership will usher in an acceleration of the Conservation Lands Foundation’s distinctive mission to protect, restore and expand the country’s newest system of public lands, called National Conservation Lands, through community-based activism.
“Specifically, Mark will be leading our charge to protect millions more acres of National Conservation Lands and strengthen our community-led Friends Grassroots Network to ensure the durability of those protections in a way unlike any other organization is able to do,” said Brian Sybert, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation.
“Mark brings tremendous financial acumen and an established reputation in land conservation. He founded the Selberg Institute, which helps conserve the unique ecosystems of the greater Cascade-Siskiyou landscape in southern Oregon, and he helped the effort to expand the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument,” said Sybert.
“I’ve seen firsthand that the power of the local activism we’re building results in protections for valuable and vulnerable public lands across the west,” said Mark Headley, chair of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “We’ve identified a number of priority landscapes to protect and we’re acutely motivated by the urgency of the climate, biodiversity and public health crises to protect them within a timeframe that matters, which is within the next four years,” said Headley.
Headley noted the Conservation Lands Foundation’s track record of success during its first 15 years that the board will be building upon:
- Created 15 new National Monuments and National Conservation Areas protecting 10 million acres.
- Helped to start a national Friends Grassroots Network and now supports more than 80 nonprofit community-based organizations focused on protecting, restoring, and expanding National Monuments and National Conservation Lands.
- Partnered with Native Nations and conservation partners to stop the Trump Administration from gutting Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
- Created The Climate Atlas, a publicly-available web-based tool to help identify new opportunities for protecting landscapes that meet U.S. climate and conservation goals, including protecting 30% of the nation’s lands by 2030.
“National Conservation Lands hold a promise as significant and lasting as America’s national parks and the Conservation Lands Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to save, protect and expand these special places in new and dynamic ways. At the core, we are working to secure the full promise and public benefits of this new system of public lands – and to create a legacy for generations to come,” said Sybert.
About the Vice-Chairs:
Hilary Tompkins joined the Conservation Lands Foundation board in 2019 and brings expansive experience in natural resources and environmental law at the highest levels of government. She has served as Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, is a leader in federal Indian law, and was counsel to New Mexico's governor. Hilary is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.
Chris Killingsworth is the Executive Vice President of the Wyss Foundation, overseeing all of the Foundation’s grantmaking programs including global conservation, women’s equality, economic opportunity, and democracy. She previously worked for the Department of the Interior and joined the Conservation Lands Foundation board in 2015.
Greg Moore is the former CEO of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. He was on the founding board of the Conservation Lands Foundation. Greg was a founder of the Parks Conservancy, its first executive director, and later its president and CEO and established it as one of the most successful nonprofit organizations supporting the national park system.
About National Conservation Lands:
National Conservation Lands are under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency responsible for the largest amount of public lands, nearly 250 million acres. National Conservation Lands currently comprise 36 million acres or 15 percent.
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Read a message from Edward Norton, Sr. about today's announcement here.