Hedge-fund manager and philanthropist Louis Bacon ’81 has placed nearly 77,000 acres of Trinchera Ranch in a conservation easement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to help create the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in southern Colorado. The donation builds on his intention, announced in June, to donate a perpetual conservation easement of 90,000 acres on the adjacent Blanca Ranch. Together, these easements will bring the total amount of permanently protected land to nearly 170,000 acres. When completed, the two easements will represent the largest donation ever to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The land gift is the latest effort in a long history of conservation philanthropy for Bacon, who is a member of the School’s Board of Overseers. He also will be presented with the Audubon Medal, recognizing his dedication to conservation, from the National Audubon Society in January.
Bacon attributes his deep interest in environmental conservation to his grandfather and namesake, who was a forceful preservationist in eastern North Carolina. “From his position in the local chamber of commerce, he battled to make businesses realize the long-term economic benefit of protecting environmental and cultural heritage from short-sighted destructive development,” Bacon said. “I believe the battle to preserve nature is a worthy one for both the community and for commerce. I hope this easement will help protect the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and the San Luis Valley in perpetuity.”
Through the Moore Charitable Foundation, Bacon has advocated for the protection and conservation of natural resources for more than two decades, working with more than 100 conservation organizations. He is a leading supporter of the National Audubon Society and its state programs in Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, and New York. Bacon has led numerous conservation efforts, including a successful campaign to protect 208 acres for the creation of the Clifton Heritage National Park in the Bahamas and donating a conservation easement on Robins Island to create a haven for shorebirds in Peconic Bay, Long Island. Bacon is also one of the founders and most significant funders of Waterkeeper Alliance, which promotes fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide, and is a leading supporter of Riverkeeper, an advocacy group that protects the Hudson River and the region’s drinking water supply.
Bacon has also been an avid supporter of Columbia Business School, most recently serving as a sponsor for the 2012 Annual Dinner. “The impact of Louis Bacon’s philanthropy on America’s environmental and academic landscapes is as inspirational as it is necessary,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “His foresight and tremendous business acumen are qualities Columbia Business School seeks to instill in all of its students, and I am honored to rely on his leadership, dedication, and generosity as a member of the School’s Board of Overseers.”
Bacon’s philanthropic efforts are matched only by his stellar career success. He is founder, chairman, CEO, and principal investment manager of Moore Capital Management, a $15-billion hedge fund. Prior to founding Moore Capital in 1989, Bacon spent six years with Shearson Lehman Brothers, where he served in various positions up to senior vice president of futures. He also held trading positions at Bankers Trust, the New York Cotton Exchange, and Walter N. Frank & Co., a specialist firm on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange founded and managed by the family of Steve Frank ’87 until it was sold to Goldman Sachs in 2002.