Student Conservation Association Awards Founder’s Medal to U. S. Rep. Norm Dicks

SCA
Thursday, September 16, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jay Satz 206.324-4649, ext. 815 jsatz@thesca.org

(TACOMA, WA)—-The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, has awarded U.S. Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA) its Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam Founder’s Medal for meritorious conservation leadership.

Congressman Dicks received the award at a reception on September 1, 2010 at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. The room was filled with employees from National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, NOAA, and other agencies and non profit partners along with many of SCA’s members and alumni. All were there to show their thanks to the Congressman for his support of public lands and youth engagement.

“Our extraordinary landscape has no better friend than Congressman Norm Dicks,” said SCA Vice President for Western Initiatives Jay A. Satz at a ceremony held at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. “From his unyielding commitment to environmental protection to his firm belief in the spirit of young people as stewards, protecting our natural resources has always been at the core of Norm Dicks’ public service career.”

Satz notes while Dicks’ stature and influence are recognized nationwide, it is great to see his impact within Washington State and his 6th Congressional District, where the 16-term lawmaker has helped to protect Puget Sound, support Olympic National Park’s Elwha River restoration, continue to provide financial resources to the USDA Forest Service for public access and to support youth engagement in conservation in all these areas.

Dicks was also a key supporter of SCA’s Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative of 2007-2008 in which SCA, in partnership with many local organizations, managed 4,000 volunteers who rendered over 160,000 hours of conservation service worth an estimated $3 million to Mount Rainier National Park. The effort restored numerous hiking trails, bridges and campgrounds and earned a Cooperative Conservation Award from the Secretary of the Interior.

In remarks accepting the Founder’s Medal, Rep. Dicks said that “SCA volunteers not only make important contributions to maintaining and restoring national parks and public lands but they also make a vital connection to our great outdoors that will stay with them for their entire lifetime.” The congressman noted that “the government’s investment in the SCA program is a real bargain, accomplishing critical restoration work while producing savings that can be used for many other necessary park improvements.”

The SCA Founder’s Medal is named after Liz Putnam, who launched SCA more than a half century ago at Olympic and Grand Teton National Parks. Ms. Putnam herself received the Presidential Citizens Medal at a White House ceremony last month. Previous recipients of the SCA Founder’s Medal include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The Student Conservation Association is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet.

Dedicated to “building the next generation of conservation leaders,” the nonprofit SCA maintains a regional office in Seattle and has offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.thesca.org.