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National Park Service Awards Natural Stewardship Honors






In the waters of lower Glacier Bay and Whidbey Passage within Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, the superintendent Tomie Lee recently ordered a speed limit of 13 knots for all vessels to protect humpback whales after more than a dozen sightings. In the summer of 2001, a 37-year-old pregnant female humpback was killed by a large vessel in Glacier Bay.


WASHINGTON, D.C.--In May 2005, the National Park Service (NPS) announced the recipients of the 2004 "Director's Awards for Natural Stewardship," recognizing achievements in protection of park ecology.

The 2004 awards and recipients:

Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship

  • Tomie Lee--Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
    Tomie Lee has been with the park service since 1975. Her job involves weighing the needs of park users versus its wildlife, as when she has to order the closing of camping areas because of large nu*mbers of bear. In June she announced a vessel speed limit of 13 knots for all vessels in lower Glacier Bay and Whidbey Passage to protect humpback whales sighted in the area. The humpbacks feed on krill in Alaska waters and are on the federal endangered species list. Whales killed or injured by big, fast moving ships is not that uncommon. A 1991 study compiled descriptions of 58 such collisions. Off Southern California, between 1975 and 1980, 12 collisions were reported between Eastern Pacific gray whales and ships.
  • Paul Hedren--Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR) and Niobrara National Scenic River MNRR is headquartered in O'Neill, Nebraska, one of five Lewis and Clark units in the national park system. Mr. Hedren's previous park assignments have included the Fort Union, Golden Spike, and Fort Laramie historic sites. He is the author of six books, including With Crook in the Black Hills and Traveler's Guide to the Great Sioux War. Congress, in 1978 and 1991, designated two reaches of the Missouri along the Nebraska-South Dakota border as part of MNRR. These reaches run swift and shallow and are superb examples of Great Plains waters that have largely remained in their natural state. MNRR offers forested buff-colored chalkstone bluffs and gentle rolling range bottomland. The river wildlife includes white-tailed deer, coyote, beaver, mink, bull snakes, soft-shelled turtles, turkeys, migrating pelicans, whooping cranes, bald eagles, peregrine falcon, bald eagles, terns, plovers, red foxes. The Ponca Tribe maintains a small buffalo herd on their land near Niobrara, Nebraska.

Excellence in Natural Resource Stewardship through Maintenance

  • Edward Walls--Point Reyes National Seashore

Natural Resource Management in a Small Park

  • Sallie Beavers--Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (Hawaii) (Trish Patterson Student Association Award)

Natural Resource Management

  • John Varley--Yellowstone National Park - John Varely is the author of Yellowstone Fishes : Ecology, History, and Angling in the Park, a comprehensive guide that includes management policies, the impact on fish of the 1988 forest fires an overview of the entire Yellowstone watershed, from backcountry streams to the major rivers and lakes.

Natural Resource Research

  • Dr. Daniel Fagre--U.S. Geological Survey, Glacier National Park

Professional Excellence in Natural Resources

  • Abigail Miller, deputy associate director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science

The awards were presented to the recipients by Dr. Michael Soukup, associate director of Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, at the George Wright Society Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.






The Missouri river flowing past Yankton, South Dakota, a stopover for Lewis and Clark.



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