WASHINGTON –Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett today honored Yellowstone National Park staff, and their partners at the 2006 Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Awards. In an awards ceremony at the Interior Building in Washington, DC, they praised the Yellowstone team for “environmental stewardship” at the park and in the greater Yellowstone area. The Secretary said the eight award recipients are “role models for all Americans who want to celebrate Earth Day this week.”
In 1997, when Yellowstone National Park celebrated its 125th anniversary as the world's first national park, park staff began the "Greening of Yellowstone" initiative. Since that time, the park and its partners have made remarkable advances in promoting sustainable practices and advancing sound environmental stewardship initiatives. Accomplishments include achieving a 65 percent diversion rate of solid waste, and composting more than 1,400 tons of material.
The Park and its concessioners use biodiesel and other alternative fuels and vegetable-based lubrication and hydraulic oils in many of their vehicles. Since 1998, the Park and its partners have worked to eliminate the use of cleaning and janitorial supplies that pose health or environmental risks. A solar electric array installed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, located within the Park, provides more than 90 percent of the complex's energy needs annually.
The Environmental Achievement Awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following areas: Waste/Pollution Prevention, Recycling, Green Purchasing, Environmental Management Systems, Sustainable Design/Green Building, and Alternative Fuel and Fuel Conservation in Transportation. A panel of experts from each Interior bureau recommended the awardees to their agency heads. More information on the awards can be found at http://www.doi.gov/greening/awards/env2006N.html.
The eight 2006 awardees are:
- Dr. John Portnoy, Ecologist - Herring River Salt Marsh Restoration, Cape Cod National Seashore, NPS.
- Students Against Global Abuse at Herndon High School (SAGA) Partnership with MMS.
- The California BLM Abandoned Mine Lands Team - Boston Placer Mine Sluice Tunnel Remediation Project, Red Dog, California.
- JW Dalton Legacy Well Cleanup Project Team, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska, BLM.
- Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge "Green" Headquarters and Visitor Contact Station Team, Swanton, Vermont, FWS.
- Northeast Regional Office “Green” Team Hadley, Massachusetts, FWS.
- Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, Planet EVERgreen: Protecting and Preserving "The Last Frontier," Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, NPS.
- Yellowstone National Park Employees, Xanterra Yellowstone Employees, Montana and Wyoming Departments of Environmental Quality, and Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Environmental Stewardship at Yellowstone National Park and the greater Yellowstone area, Wyoming.