A bipartisan group of senators and representatives is being honored for the work on behalf of the nation's parks by the National Recreation and Park Association.
During the association's annual Congressional Recognition Ceremony and Reception in Washington, D.C., today, five members of Congress were honored for their efforts.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Representing the Eighth District of Texas, Congressman Kevin Brady has worked for several years with The Conservation Fund to provide more than $22 million in support for the Big Thicket National Preserve in east Texas. He has helped bring Forest Legacy Program funds to the table for Big Thicket’s Turkey Creek Easement, which will be more than 12,000-acres when completed this December. This is a working forest easement, thus bringing a business solution to a conservation need.
Rep Brady is working to expand the preserve by 100,000 acres. He is very interested in the economic impact of ecotourism, and sees clearly how these types of conservation projects can increase the economic viability of the area.
Additionally, Rep. Brady has been a supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, having signed onto Dear Colleague letters in fiscal years 2008 and 2010. He also holds the leadership position of deputy minority whip, and plays a key role in gathering votes on critical legislation.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He is also the ranking member of the National Parks Sub-Committee.
Sen. Burr sponsored the Senate version of the LWCF Dear Colleague letter for fiscal year 2010, requesting $125 million for LWCF State Assistance, $125 million for the Forest Legacy Program, and $325 million for LWCF federal land acquisition in the fiscal year 2010 Interior Appropriations bill.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Representing California, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is chairwoman of the Interior Appropriations Sub-Committee. During her 17 years in the U.S. Senate, she has been a passionate supporter of urban parks and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. She has served as one of Congress’s most visible champions for the beautification and renewal of community parks, and has previously sponsored legislation for full and dedicated funding for LWCF.
Sen. Feinstein also has the unique distinction of having a skate and recreation park named in her honor in Orange Cove, Calif.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Representing Arizona’s Seventh District, Congressman Raúl Grijalva is chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands and oversees millions of acres of federal land. During his tenure as chair of the committee, Grijalva has been a staunch proponent of increasing funding for public lands and for policies that prioritize the preservation of wilderness and opportunities for recreation.
Rep. Grijalva is the lead sponsor of the National Landscape Conservation System Act, which would provide permanent congressional recognition of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System, and author of the House-version of the National Park Service Centennial Initiative. This bill would provide NPS $1 billion over a ten-year period to fund signature projects in national parks in advance of the 2016 NPS Centennial.
Rep. Grijalva is a rising national environmental leader who, after only two terms, was appointed to follow in the footsteps of the highly regarded and longtime Arizona Congressman Morris K. Udall, as chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. As chairman of this subcommittee, Rep. Grijalva has passed a landmark more than 75 bills through the House.
Rep. Grijalva signed on to the fiscal year 2010 LWCF Dear Colleague letter, and is a staunch supporter and co-sponsor of the No Child Left Inside Act, one of NRPA’s top legislative priorities for 2010.
Rep. David Price (D-NC)
Representing the Fourth District of North Carolina, Congressman David Price sits on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and has been a strong voice in support of parks and recreation funding priorities. Over the years, he has embraced the entire public parks and recreation agenda as a whole. He has good relations with the local parks and recreation community in his district, and has been a strong consistent supporter of LWCF, the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program, and NRPA physical activity priorities.
Rep. Price signed on to the LWCF state assistance Dear Colleague letter and the Urban Parks Dear Colleague letter for fiscal year 2009 as an appropriator. For fiscal year 2010, he made an official request to the subcommittee to fund LWCF state assistance at the NRPA requested level of $125 million. Rep. Price was also a fearless ally in NRPA’s fight to ensure the Coburn language was not adopted during conference negotiations of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Rep. Price co-sponsored NRPA-endorsed, anti-obesity legislation in the 110th Congress, including the Play Every Day Act and the Impact Act. Additionally, Rep. Price was a Co-sponsor of the Conservation and Reinvestment act of the 107th Congress.