Louis Moore Bacon didn't have the top spot on the Land Report's list last week of the top 100 landowners in the United States, but he stood out all the same: The publication singled out the Wall Street hedge fund manager and conservationist for his success with not only acquiring land but keeping it safe for future generations.
The list, Land Report 100, released just last month, praised Bacon's "lifelong commitment to conservation." He came in at No. 43 by virtue of his ownership of 215,900 acres throughout the country.
That amount is modest compared with the properties of the list's No. 1 finalist, John Malone, who holds 2.5 million acres. But Bacon's holdings include some historically significant land saves. For instance, he once commissioned 260 acres of his holdings in Colorado to be U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-designated conservation easements. This one donation was the largest conservation easement the agency has received in its history.
The list's authors give kudos to Bacon's earth-conscious philanthropy. Although the Land Report 100 isn't conservation-focused — winners attain their spots by virtue of how much land they own, not their purposes for owning it — the entry for Bacon noted that he has secured several other sizable land preservation deals: He arranged with Colorado Open Lands to designate 21,000 acres of the state's Tercio Ranch and Red River Ranch in Colorado as permanent easements, and he had 8,400 acres of his own pine-forest-rich holdings at the Orton Plantation in North Carolina declared an official conservation easement and wildlife sanctuary.
"Bacon, who owns both the Blanca and Trinchera Ranches in the San Luis Valley, follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Louis T. Moore, a pioneer in the preservationist movement in Eastern North Carolina," the report states, while further reporting that Bacon has been bankrolling more than 200 local, national, and international conservation organizations through his own philanthropic venture, the Moore Charitable Foundation, which he founded in 1992.
And this isn't the first award that Bacon's land-rescue successes have netted this year. In January, the National Audubon Society presented him with the Audubon Medal in recognition of the populations of egrets, herons, and other threatened or endangered bird species that have found safe havens in Bacon's ample land holdings.
Then in September, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) honored both Bacon and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the same stage at the 10th annual Celebrating the Great Outdoors Benefit, which took place on the 28th in Connecticut. Both men won the Chairman's Leadership Award, considered to be the NFWF's highest recognition, for their protection of at-risk habitats and their resident wildlife populations.
Bacon made the Land Report 100 last year, too. The 2012 list gave him the No. 42 spot and, like this year's list, acknowledged his conservation track record: "Bacon has spent more than 20 years advocating the conservation and protection of natural resources, both in the U.S. and around the world," the 2012 list stated.