"R. J." Smith is the President of the new independent Center for Private Conservation in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on wildlife, endangered species, property rights and private stewardship. He is widely known for his travels around the country visiting ranchers, landowners and companies producing timber and minerals that promote good stewardship of the land. On these trips he gathers the research he publishes about how these private efforts work better than government regulation. His influence on behalf of free enterprise and private conservation reaches as far as New Zealand and Australia.
Combining a Natural Sciences background, Geology at Stanford University, with Social Sciences, Economics at new York University under free-market economist Ludwig von Mises, R. J. Smith began a distinguished career to apply market and property rights solutions to environmental issues when he was president of a regional Audubon Society in New Jersey in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
In his book, Earth Resources: Private Ownership vs. Public Waste, he coined the phrase "free-market environmentalism" for the use of the institutions of a free society to protect the environment rather than continued reliance upon regulation and central planning.
Mr. Smith has been a consultant to various business groups, the Department of Interior and the President's Council on Environmental Quality, and a special assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency during the Reagan Administration. He was Director of Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute. At the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where he was a senior scholar, he founded the Center for Private Conservation, which he established as an independent organization this year.
His many publications and articles, too numerous to list, include The Endangered Species Act: Time for Change, co-authored with Thomas Lambert, Center for the Study of American Business.
R.J. Smith also serves on the National Property Rights Advisory Board of the PRFA.
Robert J. Smith, President
Center for Private Conservation
721-R 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002