Death Valley Superintendent Receives National Award

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 6, 2005
Contact:   Howard Gross, NPCA, cell: 760-219-4916


Death Valley Superintendent Receives National Award

Charleston, S.C. - Leading park advocacy group, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today bestowed its prestigious Stephen T. Mather Award on Death Valley National Park Superintendent J.T. Reynolds for his leadership and unwavering dedication to the long-term protection of the national parks. At Death Valley and throughout his career with the National Park Service, J.T. Reynolds has demonstrated the strongest possible commitment to park resources, staff, and volunteers.

“Superintendent Reynolds has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the wonders of Death Valley, and confront challenges to park stewardship,” said NPCA Senior Vice President Ron Tipton, who presented the award today at the annual meeting of the Association of National Park Rangers with NPCA’s Vice President for Government Affairs Craig Obey.

“J.T. always works in the best interest of Death Valley, consistently advocates for greater funding and protection for park resources, and has forged constructive relationships with the park’s neighbors,” added NPCA California Desert Program Manager Howard Gross. “For nearly 35 years, J.T. has embraced the principles of the National Park Service’s founders, and our country is a better place because of his efforts.”

In June 2005, NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks released a comprehensive assessment of the health of Death Valley and its neighboring parks, Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve. While noting that the California Desert Protection Act in 1994 provided a critical step toward better desert conservation, NPCA said that the parks’ water and air quality and cultural heritage are threatened by rapid regional growth, development of surrounding lands, and insufficient annual funding.

At 3.4 million acres, Death Valley National Park is the largest national park outside of Alaska. It is the hottest, driest place in North America with summer temperatures frequently reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A region of unrivaled desert scenery with shimmering salt flats, shifting dunes, and rugged peaks over 11,000 feet, Death Valley protects 38 reptile species, more than 200 species of birds, and 31 mammal species. The park also contains the 200 historic structures.

Named for the first director of the National Park Service, NPCA gives the Stephen T. Mather Award annually to people who have demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness in promoting environmental protection in the national parks, taken significant action where others have hesitated, and exemplified the principles of good park stewardship.

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