Ruskin Hartley "is the Executive Director and Secretary of Save the Redwoods League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting ancient redwood forests for people—as a living link to the past and as a place to find inspiration now and always. Ruskin was appointed as Save the Redwood League’s Executive Director and Secretary of the Board of Directors in December 2006. He is the sixth leader in the organization’s 90-year history.
"Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has assisted in the purchase of more than 181,000 acres of redwood-related land in California. The support of individual members, public service organizations, private foundations, and the State of California has enabled the League to help build and protect 59 redwood parks and reserves.
"Ruskin’s tenure with Save the Redwoods League began in 1997. In his previous role as director of conservation and education, he developed the plan for the League’s current and future conservation efforts—the Master Plan for the Redwoods. This plan provides Save the Redwoods League with a science-based conservation agenda for all coast redwood ecosystems and guides the League in prioritizing protection of the remaining 5% of the world’s greatest forest for people to enjoy.
"He also played a key role in the largest single land acquisition in Save the Redwoods League history—the 25,000-acre Mill Creek Redwoods. This landmark project created complete watershed protection for the spectacular ancient redwood groves of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Ruskin leads the League’s restoration work at Mill Creek, a model for forest restoration, using practices on the cutting edge of forest science to help damaged areas of the forest to recover and develop old-growth characteristics. He was also an integral part of the acquisition that doubled Montgomery Woods State Reserve as well as the purchase and transfer of Dillonwood Grove to Sequoia National Park.
"Additionally, Ruskin established the educational framework Save the Redwoods League uses to encourage people of diverse ages and backgrounds to personally experience the redwoods and support their protection. He has sought to broaden support for redwood conservation and has created successful partnerships with diverse constituencies including government agencies, conservation organizations and the scientific community.
"Before joining Save the Redwoods League, Ruskin worked as an environmental planner in the United Kingdom, Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman. He studied geography at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and earned his master’s degree in rural development planning from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. Ruskin currently serves as the Chair of the Mill Creek Advisory Committee. He sits on the advisory councils of the Mendocino Land Trust and the Smith River Alliance, the steering committee for the Bay Area Open Space Council and is a member of the Society for Conservation Biology and the Society for Ecological Restoration.
"Ruskin is dedicated to being an international steward for the redwoods and protecting this giant global icon for all generations. Born in Liverpool, England, he grew up in Ireland and southeast Britain and was first introduced to “Sequoia wellingtonia” (the California giant redwood) in an arboretum in England."