National Park Trust Awards Senator John McCain Highest Honor

"The urgency of your work, in my view, is no better articulated than in my great and wonderful state of Arizona . . . You are doing such wonderful work that would not otherwise be done . . . You've embarked on projects and preserved great national treasures that would not have been done so today if it had not been for your efforts and for that I am exceedingly and everlastingly grateful." - Senator John McCain, June 8, 2006

National Park Trust Awards
Senator John McCain Highest Honor

mccain1Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2006) - National Park Trust, America's only land conservancy dedicated to preserving America's national system of parks, wildlife and historic monuments, awarded U.S. Senator John McCain with the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award today.

Senator McCain credited the National Park Trust for "protecting the valuable treasures" provided by the country's national parks, and also emphasized his gratitude to the many volunteers who assist with the day-to-day operations of the national parks. "I accept this award on behalf of those who volunteer and help our country preserve all of our national treasures," Senator McCain said. He paid particular attention to the vast number of senior citizens who volunteer their time in both the management and daily operations of the National Park System.

"Senator McCain exemplifies a public servant who understands and works for the very best of our nation," said Paul Pritchard, NPT president. The award was presented during a luncheon today at the Washington D.C. Hyatt Hotel on Capitol Hill. More than 200 supporters of the national park system attended the luncheon and award presentation.

NPT's Pritchard added, "Over the past decade, Senator McCain has led efforts as diverse as legislation to create bonds for needed National Park repairs, protection of new parks and monuments in Arizona, climate change legislation, protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and greater environmental awareness of Antarctica. Like President Teddy Roosevelt, John McCain's legacy is diverse and meaningful."

National Park Trust established the Bruce F. Vento Award to honor those in public service who have demonstrated a lifetime of distinguished skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America. During his twelve terms in the House of Representatives from the 4th District of Minnesota, Bruce Vento was a champion of the conservation movement. His humility was counterbalanced by the strength of his commitment to our parks. As a Member of Congress, he guided more than 300 bills into law to help protect our natural resources. Congressman Vento passed more park and environmental legislation than any other committee chair.

Previous Award recipients have included:

2005: Senator Bob Graham of Florida
2004: Congressman John Lewis of Georgia
2003: Congresswoman Connie Morella of Maryland
2002: Congressman John F. Seiberling of Ohio
2001: Lt. Governor of Alaska Lowell Thomas, Jr.

In addition, National Park Trust held its annual forum on People, Parks, and Public Policy to celebrate the Centennial of the American Antiquities Act of 1906 and addressed current critical environmental and conservation issues.