|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||December 16, 2008|
|Contact:||Joy Oakes, Mid-Atlantic Senior Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 703-224-8191|
Gettysburg's Latschar Receives National Park Conservation Award
Superintendent recognized for preservation, partnership, and management practices; hailed as model for park system
“John Latschar and his team worked tirelessly with community leaders for a groundbreaking public-private partnership, laying a solid foundation to preserve and protect this important piece of our nation’s history,” said Joy Oakes, NPCA Mid-Atlantic Senior Regional Director.
NPCA Senior Vice President of Programs Ron Tipton presented the prestigious award at the annual Association of National Park Rangers Conference—also known as the Ranger Rendezvous—in Santa Fe on December 13, 2008. The award recognizes Latschar for his steadfast leadership and persistent dedication to our national parks.
“John not only works to protect our parks, he leads us in rethinking where, how, and why these resources impact our environment, our communities, and our national identity,” Oakes said.
Most notable during Latschar’s 14 years as superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and his more than 30-year career with the Park Service, is the successful execution of an innovative partnership between the agency and the Gettysburg Foundation. The collaboration, which now contributes to park operating expenditures, has raised more than $100 million to preserve the Gettysburg battlefield, the town, and surrounding areas. New visitor facilities were built in an environmentally sensitive manner and on a site which saw little battlefield action. NPCA also commended Latschar’s for his leadership in returning the Gettysburg battlefield to its 1863 appearance.
First presented in 1984, NPCA’s Stephen T. Mather Award celebrates its silver anniversary this year. Named for the first director of the National Park Service Stephen T. Mather, and for the second year supported and endowed by Booz Allen Hamilton, the award recognizes National Park Service employees who have demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness in promoting environmental protection and who have taken direct action where others may have hesitated in order to promote the principles and practices of good stewardship of the national parks.