WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) was honored by the National Park Trust with the 18th Annual Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for his outstanding efforts to support and advocate for the protection of America's public lands and encouraging kids to experience the great outdoors. He was recognized for championing the bipartisan Every Kid Outdoors Act to provide all fourth graders nationwide free entrance to federally managed land, waters, and historic sites, including national parks.
"Our national parks not only celebrate some of the most extraordinary natural places in our country, they are also part of the fabric of our democracy and fuel our thriving outdoor recreation economy," said Senator Heinrich. "I am honored to receive this award from the National Park Trust and appreciate the work they do every day to protect our public lands for future generations to enjoy."
"We are delighted to be able to honor Senator Martin Heinrich for his service in Washington, D.C. and at home in New Mexico to support bi-partisan legislation and programs that will not only preserve America's national parks and public lands today, but also ensure that they will be here for the enjoyment of our country's families tomorrow," said NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell.
During the event, Senator Heinrich's was recognized for his leadership in establishing the 570-acre Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the Southwest's first urban wildlife refuge and creating the Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments. He was also acknowledged for helping to create the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness area, protecting the natural and cultural resources in the Valles Caldera National Preserve while ensuring that new management increased access for hunting and fishing, and for legislation he recently introduced to re-designate White Sands National Monument as a National Park.
The National Park Trust, whose mission is preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow, established the Vento Award in 2000 to honor Minnesota Congressman Bruce F. Vento, a 12-term Congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist, and a champion of legislation for America's parks. The award honors a public servant for his or her commitment to the environment, and his service, skill and innovation in support of our public lands. More information is available here.