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2002 Bruce Vento Public Service Award: Congressman John F. Seiberling of Ohio

John F. Seiberling Receives 2002 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

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At its annual awards luncheon, held in Washington, DC on April 25th, National Park Trust (NPT) presented its Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award to former Ohio Congressman John F. Seiberling.

During his eight terms in the U.S. Congress, Representative Seiberling, hailed as the "patron saint" of many of today's national parks, chaired both the Alaska Lands Subcommittee and the House Interior Subcommittee on Public Lands. He was instrumental in the passage of the 1980 Alaska Lands Act that doubled the size of American's national parks. He also led the fight to establish some of our country's most important urban parks.

Over one hundred supporters attended the event, including members of Congress, Seiberling's former staffers, members of the environmental community, and NPT members. Michigan Congressman Dale Kildee spoke about Seiberling's contribution to the environment, noting the high standards that Congressman Seiberling has set for future generations of policy makers.

Loretta Nuemann, one of Seiberling's former staffers, described the environmentalist as a "renaissance man", a brilliant lawyer, and "a dedicated public servant with a strong commitment to the environment."

She ended her comments by quoting the Congressman himself, "We will never see the land as our ancestors did. But we can understand what made it beautiful and why they lived and died to preserve it. And in preserving it for future generations we will preserve something of ourselves. If we all have an interest in this land, then we all have a stake in its preservation. There is no more worthwhile cause."

NPT's Chairman of the Board, Steve Miller, and NPT Trustee Dale Crane presented the award to Seiberling.  In accepting the award, Seiberling offered remarks that reminder all in the audience of his effective style and guiding presence.  Congressman Seiberling was accompanied at the luncheon by his wife Betty and son, John Seiberling, Jr.

NPT established the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in honor of the late Bruce F. Vento's life and accomplishments on behalf of the environment. Congressman Vento was a 12-term United States Representative from Minnesota. He served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Parks, Forest and Public Lands. He was a fierce advocate for the environment, introducing much bipartisan-supported legislation to protect, complete, and enlarge the National Park System for the benefit of future generations.

The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award is given annually by NPT to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service, discernment, courage, skill, resourcefulness, or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic sites - the heritage of America.

Last year, NPT honored Lowell Thomas, Jr. former lieutenant governor of Alaska, who is credited with leading the battle to establish Alaska's Chugach State Park. He fought to protect the Alaska wolves from aerial hunting and helped to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information contact:
National Park Trust (NPT)
(202) 548-0500
npt@parktrust.org
www.parktrust.org