Statement by Craig Obey, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association
“All of us at the National Parks Conservation Association are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, former Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee. An authentic giant in the long line of leaders dedicated to the protection of America’s natural heritage, Senator Baker’s lifelong commitment to the conservation and enjoyment of the great outdoors was demonstrated a thousand times over – from the Clean Air Act he helped draft and enact, to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area he almost single-handedly created, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which he supported, loved, visited and photographed until his final days.
“In 2008, Senator Baker took on yet another demanding assignment as Co-chair of the National Parks Second Century Commission, a diverse group of 30 national leaders who, for the first time in a generation, set out to examine the National Park System and chart a vision for its second century of service to the nation. That commission’s far reaching and creative report still serves as the best template for what the national parks can and should be in their next 100 years.
“When the Second Century Commission Report was issued Senator Baker said, ‘At some of the most difficult times in American history, presidents and Congress have had the courage and foresight to protect our national heritage, and expand the ability of the national parks to benefit all Americans. This is another of those moments.’ Senator Baker’s passing is also such a profound moment that should be noted and marked. While his legacy of achievement will remind us of him forever, everyone throughout the land who loves and respects America’s wondrous natural heritage has lost a true and stalwart friend.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.