Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Frank Quimby
For Immediate Release:June 9, 2004

Secretary Norton Honored for Conservation Partnerships, Outdoor Recreation Contributions

Receives Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors
Award from American Recreation Coalition


(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton has received the American Recreation Coalition's Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award for her leadership on partner-based conservation initiatives and contributions to enhancing outdoor experiences around the nation.

"Secretary Norton's personal leadership on reducing the long-standing maintenance backlogs in the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, her re-establishment of the Take Pride in America national volunteer program and her enthusiasm for inviting all Americans to use and enjoy our public lands are among the major initiatives for which the American Recreation Coalition is honoring her," said David Humphreys, ARC Chairman. Humphries presented the award to Norton during an evening reception yesterday marking this year's Great Outdoors Week.

"I want to thank the American Recreation Coalition and the entire recreation community for this award," Secretary Norton said. "I also want to emphasize that this recognition was achieved by the hard work and creative thinking of our management team - the people I so enjoy working with at Interior - and many others."

"Federal agencies and employees are partners in managing our public lands and waters and providing great recreational experiences," Norton emphasized. "We are partners with volunteers and state and local agencies, partners with businesses that operate on public lands as outfitters and guides, as campground managers and concessionaires. One of our strongest partners is the American Recreation Coalition."

Nominations for the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award are made by the leadership of the American Recreation Coalition. Selections are made by a distinguished panel of more than 100 recreation and conservation community leaders from across the nation. Previous recipients include President George H.W. Bush, National Geographic Society Chairman Gil Grosvenor, U.S. Senators John Breaux, Frank Murkowski, John Chafee, and Malcolm Wallop.



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