|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 30, 2002|
|Contact:||Mary Munson, National Parks Conservation Association, 954-926-6327|
Clark Receives Park Conservation Award
"Ron Clark's accomplishments are impressive," said Mary Munson, regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association. "The millions of future visitors that will appreciate Big Cypress as unspoiled wilderness free from oil wells and access roads will have Ron Clark to thank. His career so far has distinguished itself as a model for staying true to the purposes and mission of the National Park Service."
The historic arrangement effectively enjoins any new oil and gas production in the preserve and provides permanent protection from the risks associated with those activities. The President of the United States and the Governor of Florida hailed this unprecedented announcement as a major victory. Indeed, this was an accomplishment of national importance, and one of the Park Service's crowning achievements.
In 2002, Big Cypress National Preserve was named to NPCA's list of America's Ten Most Endangered National Parks for the fourth consecutive year, in part because of the threats posed by vast private oil-drilling plans. "For 12 years, Ron Clark's commitment to the ecological sustainability of the natural resources of the preserve has involved managing and protecting resources that face a combination of potential threats unparalleled at other park units," said Munson. "Ron has helped design off-road vehicle plans and has managed activities such as hunting, and airboat and swamp buggy use with dedication and integrity, earning praise from his colleagues and the public."
NPCA's National Park Achievement Award recognizes outstanding efforts by citizen activists, politicians, corporations, or entire communities whose accomplishments on behalf of the National Park System are worthy of public recognition.