2012 NatureServe Conservation Award Presentation

Collaborative Instincts

On April 24, at the Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference dinner, NatureServe presented William D. Ruckelshaus with the 2012 NatureServe Conservation Award. The honor recognizes Ruckelshaus’ commitment to science as a guide to policy in both the public and private sectors, and the unique character, scale, and diversity of his contributions to the protection of the natural environment.

Peter Goldmark, Washington state’s commissioner of public lands, and Mary Klein, president and CEO of NatureServe, introduce the man who served as the first (and fifth) administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among his many distinguished career and personal achievements. (Read more about Mr. Ruckelshaus and the award.)

In his speech, Mr. Ruckelshaus encourages collaborative decision-making as we confront the ever-present and ever-evolving challenges of balancing environmental health and public freedoms.

“We’ve got to try, in my judgment, … a new approach to problem-solving, … [one that] relies on a resurgence of civic virtue and the resulting collaborative decision-making processes. … When you see two principals shaking hands … and everybody else is watching them do that, it’s like something magic has occurred. Instead of fighting each other, they’ve decided to work together. And that’s when progress starts.”
—Bill Ruckelshaus