Smokies' Air Specialist Receives Conservation Award

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   November 21, 2002
Contact:   Don Barger, National Parks Conservation Association, cell: 865-803-4480


Smokies' Air Specialist Receives Conservation Award

Washington, DC - The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) recently bestowed its prestigious Stephen T. Mather Award on Jim Renfro, Air Resources Specialist for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for his extraordinary efforts to raise public awareness of air quality issues while building an invaluable record of the levels and effects of pollution to the national treasure.
"Jim Renfro embodies the highest standards of stewardship and personal dedication to the national park ideal of anyone I have ever known," said NPCA Southeast Regional Director Don Barger. "By producing high-quality data and interacting relentlessly with parties from every interest, Jim has placed the welfare of our parks into the public debate on air pollution. In addition, he has become a master at translating complex data into understandable information for a variety of audiences. Basically, Jim Renfro has created the path for the leaders to follow."
Encompassing 500,000 acres of Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the nation's most-visited national park. One of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States, the park is renown for the diversity of its plants and animals, the beauty of its landscape, and its richness of historic and cultural resources.
Named for the first director of the National Park Service, the Stephen T. Mather Award is given annually to people who have demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness in promoting environmental protection in the national parks; who have taken significant action where others have hesitated; and who exemplify the principles and practices of good stewardship of the parks.
"The influence that Jim Renfro has had on the region's governors, the public discourse, and our understanding of air pollution in the region would be difficult to overstate. His ability, his perseverance and his personal integrity are universally respected by everyone," added Barger.

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