A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Salazar Presents Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award to Henry L. Diamond
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented the Secretary of the Interior's Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award to Henry L. Diamond, one of the architects of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, for six decades of dedicated service to conservation.
“For over 60 years, Henry Diamond has been a tireless advocate for conservation, working across political lines with countless leaders to protect and conserve our beautiful land both for Americans today and for future generations,” Secretary Salazar said. “It is my privilege to present him the Department of the Interior's highest honor for a private citizen.”
Among his notable accomplishments, Diamond played a key role on President Kennedy's Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission. The commission's seminal report, which Diamond organized, led to creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has provided funding for a national network of parks, wilderness areas, wild and scenic river designations and other natural and recreational areas.
Twenty years later Diamond created and chaired a task force that pressed for a timely review of land and water conservation, which prompted President Reagan to establish the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. This task force called for the establishment of a system of greenways throughout the country. Communities across the nation answered the call, resulting in safe, close to home places for people to recreate and reconnect with the outdoors.
Working with the late Laurence S. Rockefeller, Diamond helped facilitate Rockefeller's gifts to the National Park Service of the JY Ranch in Wyoming, additions to Hawaii's Haleakala National Park, and areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also helped to establish the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. He also served Governor Nelson Rockefeller as the first environmental commissioner for the State of New York.
Overall, Diamond has served on more than 30 other boards and commissions, including Resources for the Future, the Woodstock Foundation, the Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. and Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation.
Diamond recently served as co-chair of the bipartisan Outdoor Resources Review Group, sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman and Lamar Alexander. The report generated by the Group, Great Outdoors America, was critical to informing the conclusions of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative, which seeks to create a conservation ethic for the 21st century and to reconnect Americans to the natural world.