• Heritage Action
  • More
Apr 09

Private Conservation and Property Rights: Past Successes and Future Opportunities

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

Held in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson's birthday (which this year falls on Saturday, April 12), Private Conservation Day provides the opportunity to honor and learn from those who best exemplify the Jeffersonian ideal of environmental stewardship in concert with private property rights and limited government.  Past recipients of the Private Conservationist of the Year Award have been individual property owners who have undertaken remarkable projects to protect the scenic beauty and wildlife on their land.  This year's recipient, Robert J. "R. J." Smith, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his forty-year career steadfastly defending property rights and championing private conservation.  Before receiving the award, Mr. Smith will speak on the limited-government principles and the history of private conservation that have motivated his scholarship and advocacy.


R. J. Smith founded and directs the Center for Private Conservation and also currently serves as Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and as Distinguished Adjunct Scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  He previously served as Senior Environmental Scholar at CEI, Director of Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute, and as a consultant to the Department of the Interior and to the President's Council on Environmental Quality and as special assistant at the EPA.  Mr. Smith coined the term "free-market environmentalism" and has been the free market environmental movement's leading formulator and advocate.  He has been involved actively in every major environmental issue involving federal lands and private property since the 1960s.  In particular, he has been a major advocate of reforming the Endangered Species Act, which he has persuasively argued is failing to protect wildlife because it fails to respect property rights.  He has also been the chief chronicler of the history of private conservation efforts and of the environmental degradation caused by public ownership of land.  Mr. Smith's career has combined his lifelong love of nature and bird-watching with his passionate commitment to a free society.  Mr. Smith, an Oregon native, graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geology and also studied economics at New York University, where he studied under renowned Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises.

More About the Speakers

Robert J. Smith
who will address
Private Conservation and Property Rights: Past Successes and Future Opportunities
and receive the
2008 Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Public Policy Research for his work in defending property rights and advancing private conservation

Hosted By

The Heritage Foundation The Heritage Foundation

Read More