2001 Bruce Vento Public Service Award: Lt. Governor of Alaska Lowell Thomas, Jr.

American Conservationist Honored with first National Park Trust Award

Lowell Thomas, Jr. receives the first Bruce F. Vento Award


Anchorage, AK, August 8, 2001 - Lowell Thomas, Jr., today received the first Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The National Park Trust recognized Thomas’ lifelong commitment to parklands at a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The event was attended by conservation leaders from across the country.


“Lowell Thomas, Jr. continues to call for the preservation of our delicate earth,” said Steve Miller, chairman of the National Park Trust. “He not only has fought for parks and wildlife in

Alaska, but has personally contributed to the preservation of other parks throughout the nation.”

“I only helped people do what they were committed to doing,” said Thomas in accepting the award. Thomas is credited with leading the battle to establish Alaska’s Chugach State Park when he was a state senator and lieutenant governor.

“When the Alaska wolves had no protector from aerial hunting, Lowell spoke up. When the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge needed a champion, Lowell stepped forward. Whenever we need to truly understand issues facing parklands, we call on Lowell,” said Paul Pritchard, founder and president of the National Park Trust. “And to his credit, he always attributes his contributions to others.”

The National Park Trust established The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in recognition of Vento’s lifelong dedication to the preservation of America's national heritage. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of distinguished skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America.

As a U.S. Congressman from Minnesota, the late Vento served as the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands for more than a decade. He is credited with more laws that preserve parks, forests and wilderness areas than any other time in recent history.

Founded in 1983, the National Park Trust is the only land conservancy dedicated to preserving America’s national system of parks, wildlife, and historic monuments.

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