On Wednesday, The Wilderness Society presented lifetime conservation achievement awards to Representatives George Miller, Jim Moran and Rush Holt, who collectively represent 80 years of support for conservation of some of America’s most stunning landscapes and protection of the country’s clean air and water. All three members of Congress have announced their plans to retire at the end of the current session.
Rep. George Miller (California – 11th District)
“Congressman Miller has been one of the most dedicated environmental champions we’ve had over the nearly 40 years he has served in Congress,” says Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “Among his greatest conservation achievements during his incredible tenure is his support for the 1984 Wilderness Act, which permanently protected from mining, logging or other development 1.8 million acres of wild national forest land in California. “
As chair of the House Natural Resources Committee from 1991 to 1994, Miller was the chief sponsor of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992. He was also instrumental in getting the California Desert Protection Act passed in 1994, which protected wilderness areas and established the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve in the California desert.
He has long been a champion for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a longtime leader on climate change, working to increase renewable energy sources in appropriate places.
Rep. Jim Moran (Virginia – 8th District)
“Congressman Moran has supported critical environmental programs and defended laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act,” says Williams. “His dogged and outspoken efforts on the House floor fighting anti-environmental amendments have helped to preserve these bedrock laws.”
His leadership as chairman and now ranking member of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee led to millions of dollars in much-needed funding for the EPA, support for renewable energy programs and investments in federal land management agencies to help them steward wild places more effectively.
Rep. Moran has championed higher levels of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, bringing new funding and outdoor recreation opportunities to places like Prince William Forest Park, Dyke Marsh and Mason Neck.
Rep. Rush Holt (New Jersey – 12th district)
“Representative Holt’s outspoken support and defense of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and championing wild lands in Utah through the Red Rock Wilderness Act are hallmarks of his career,” said Jamie Williams. “As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, his scientific background made him a crucial leader in Congress for promoting clean energy, reducing fossil fuel consumption, stopping offshore drilling and exposing the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.”
In New Jersey, Rep. Holt worked tirelessly to protect the Sourlands region, the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and the Delaware Water Gap as well as providing instrumental leadership in designating the lower Delaware River as a National Wild and Scenic River.
Rep. Holt has been an ardent supporter for long-term, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In Congress, he ensured passage of amendments that provided millions of dollars for open spaces and preservation of public lands for Americans to enjoy.