Defenders of Wildlife has awarded its Legacy Award to the Wilburforce Foundation for more than 20 years of exceptional partnership and commitment to conservation science, diversity, equity and inclusion and protecting threatened and endangered species like grizzly bears, beavers and wolves and the habitats on which they depend.
“It is humbling to have Wilburforce be the first organization to receive this Legacy Award. We are honored to be recognized alongside E.O Wilson, Terry Tempest Williams, Bruce Babbitt and so many others who have advanced efforts to protect and restore imperiled wildlife and habitats across North America,” said Rose Letwin, president and founder of the Wilburforce Foundation.
“Having the opportunity to celebrate people and organizations, like the Wilburforce Foundation, that are truly making a difference for wildlife conservation, brings me great joy,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “This is the very first time we are honoring a foundation with our Legacy Award. We are so grateful for the 20 plus years of partnership with the Wilburforce Foundation and their unrivaled commitment to wildlife, wild places, international conservation, biodiversity, scientific integrity, environmental justice and DEIJ practices."
Founded in 1991, the Wilburforce Foundation supports hundreds of other conservation organizations across the country. Since its inception it has invested $217 million to protect wildness in Alaska, the Arctic, the Southeast, Southwest and the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor.
In 2007, Defenders established four awards to recognize exceptional contributions to wildlife conservation. Tucson-based artist Mark Rossi designed the awards, which are replicas of the dynamic, life-size wolf statues he sculpted in clay and cast in bronze to flank the entrance of Defenders of Wildlife’s national headquarters.