Congressman Mike Simpson (Idaho)
National Park Trust (NPT) is pleased to announce that Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson will receive the 2013 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award will be presented to the Congressman at a reception in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 2013. Congressman Simpson currently serves as Chair of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. "I am honored to receive this award and humbled to be recognized by the National Park Trust. As an Idahoan I got to spend many of my childhood summers in state and national parks and other beautiful, wild spaces,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. read more >>
2012: Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico
2011: Senator Susan Collins of Maine
2010: Senator Mark Udall of Colorado
2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California
2008: Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
2007: Congressman George Miller of California
2006: Senator John McCain of Arizona
2005: Senator Bob Graham of Florida
2004: Congressman John Lewis of Georgia
2003: Congresswoman Connie Morella of Maryland
2002: Congressman John F. Seiberling of Ohio
2001: Lt. Governor of Alaska Lowell Thomas, Jr.
The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award is given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding service, skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America.
In 2000, National Park Trust established the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce Vento, a 12-term Member of Congress from Minnesota and former Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. During his tenure, Congressman Vento passed more park legislation than any other previous chairman. Congressman Vento died on October 10, 2000 at the age of 60.
Each recipient of the Vento Award has expanded the nation's understanding of what it means to have a lifelong legacy and commitment to protecting America's heritage.
Past award recipient, Congressman John Lewis stated in his 2004 address, "Bruce Vento was a good man. He was an environmental stalwart – a Member who stood second to no one when it came to protecting our environment, strengthening our parks, and preserving our national heritage. He was the environmental conscience of the House, and he continues to inspire Members of Congress – and people throughout the country – who are fighting to make our nation a little cleaner and a little greener for our children and generations yet unborn."
At a 2000 dinner tribute to Vento, former President Bill Clinton said, "He has steered into law more than 300 bills to protect our natural resources." Fellow Minnesotan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale stated, "I think Bruce Vento has been one of the most impressive and effective congressman in modern Minnesota history. It's hard to think of an environmental issue where his leadership has not been found."
Born on October 7, 1940 in St. Paul, Vento attended the University of Minnesota and Wisconsin State University. He worked as a science and social studies teacher before his election to the state House in 1970. He was elected to his first term in Congress in 1976.