|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||November 7, 2001|
|Contact:||Mary Munson, National Parks Conservation Association, 954-926-6327|
Florida Couple Receives Conservation Award
"The Scherfs fought motorized abuse in the preserve almost single-handedly for several years, putting in untold hours and personal sacrifice to bring a lawsuit, collect science, and help stop the damageall as volunteers," said Mary Munson, NPCA director of South Florida and Marine Programs. "They hold a profound and sincere appreciation for all the values that national parks represent and have gladly accepted the responsibility of stewardship as citizens."
ORVs have etched Big Cypress National Preserve with more than 22,000 miles of deeply-rutted tire tracksdisplacing fragile soils and destroying native vegetation. The 729,000-acre wetland watershed is home to 27 threatened or endangered species, including the Florida panther. The National Park Service in 2000 adopted a management plan that should greatly reduce ORV impacts in the park. However, this plan is currently the subject of a lawsuit in federal district court.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award is presented annually to recognize the outstanding efforts of an individual or group that result in the protection of a unit or proposed unit of the National Park System. NPCA established this award in 1986 to honor individuals who often must go to great lengths to advocate and fight for the protection of the National Park System.