WASHINGTON, DC (July 17, 2015) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) honored Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., during its sixth annual Leaders in Conservation Awards Gala on July 16, 2015, in Washington, DC. Both senators were recognized for their leadership in conservation and support of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
Sen. Ayotte has been a champion of conservation efforts such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides funds for the public acquisition of land and water resources as protected areas for wildlife and recreation. In addition to introducing bipartisan legislation that would permanently reauthorize the LWFC, Ayotte co-sponsored the Sportsman’s Act, a bipartisan bill to conserve wildlife and public lands.
Sen. Kaine has made great strides in preserving open space in Virginia through his sponsorship of legislation that reauthorizes key conservation programs, improves access to public lands, and helps boost the outdoor recreation economy. Kaine also helped secure funding for the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which enacts significant conservation measures for watersheds, forests, and farms throughout the Mid-Atlantic, with direct effect on many of the landscapes and ecosystems that are on or near the Appalachian Trail.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to honor Senators Ayotte and Kaine for their distinguished efforts to protect public lands, including the Appalachian Trail,” said Ron Tipton, executive director/CEO of the ATC. “Presenting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Congressional Award to these esteemed Senators was a great privilege for the organization.”
In addition to Ayotte and Kaine, the ATC recognized Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) with the Corporate Leader Award. REI is dedicated to inspiring, educating, and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. The company’s most recent grant to the ATC supports efforts to educate trail users about sustainable environmental practices along the Appalachian Trail.
The Leaders in Conservation Gala is made possible by the generous support of our corporate sponsors. This year major support was provided by Expedia and PenFed Credit Union with additional support from Arnold and Porter, The Bavarian Inn, Brown Advisory, Comcast NBCUniversal, Crenshaw Associates, Honeywell, and Summit Global Ventures. All proceeds benefit the ATC.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]rail.org