September 16, 2022

The Conservation Fund Receives U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Land Protection Award

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Conservation Fund, a leading land conservation organization in the U.S., is honored to receive the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)’s National Land Protection Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in land protection in and around our National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) system, was granted to The Conservation Fund’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional offices at the annual Land Trust Alliance RALLY in New Orleans. Award recipients include Tom Duffus, Bill Crouch, Heather Richards, Kelly Reed, Kyle Shenk and Jodi O’Day.

Blaine Phillips, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional director and senior vice president of The Conservation Fund said: “We are grateful to FWS for honoring the Fund’s conservation experts with this award. Together with FWS, we’ve protected over 767,770 acres of critical habitat benefiting people, wildlife and climate change adaptation and mitigation nationwide. When a priority property goes up for sale, the Fund steps in to secure it, hold it while FWS works to acquire funding, and then transfer the land to the agency for permanent stewardship. This partnership demonstrates that conservation not only protects our ecologic resources but supports local economies and communities as well.”

“We are happy to recognize The Conservation Fund with our National Land Protection Award,” said A. Eric Alvarez, chief of FWS’s division of realty. “Our land acquisition partnership ensures that we can leverage resources to conserve our nation’s land.”

A few examples of conservation victories achieved by FWS and The Conservation Fund in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions include:

  1. Fones Cliff at Rappahannock River Valley NWR, Virginia – This place of great historic and cultural significance (where Rappahannock Tribe members encountered John Smith as he explored the Chesapeake Bay) was officially protected and added the NWR in 2019. The 252-acre riverfront cliffside also supports pristine habitat for bald eagles.
  2. Blackwater NWR, Maryland – To date, The Conservation Fund has helped add over 8,000 acres to the refuge including Peter’s Neck, the site of Harriet Tubman’s childhood home. Blackwater’s marshland habitat provides critical buffer land for sea level rise and other effects of climate change.
  3. Umbagog NWR, Maine – Numerous additions to the refuge to date have supported the over 200 bird species who reside there. Protecting the forests, islands, marshes, backwaters, and forested wetlands and uplands around Lake Umbagog has been a top priority for FWS for over a decade.
  4. Cherry Valley NWR, Pennsylvania – In 2019, The Conservation Fund transferred 4,300 acres to the refuge, which includes more than five miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and a large vernal pool complex and high-quality migratory bird habitat along the Kittatinny Ridge.

Many of these projects received essential funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other various sources such as the FWS’s Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land.

Contact: Val Keefer | | 703-908-5802