From left: Award recipient Chief Russell French, Senator Angus King, award recipient Nancy Perlson, RLHT President Paul Reynolds and David Miller, Executive Director of Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

On Friday, August 9th, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) attended the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust (RLHT) Annual Meeting and bestowed the first ever Senator Angus King Award for Conservation Excellence to Nancy Perlson, the first executive director of RLHT. While there, Senator King also presented the annual RLHT Community Service Award to Chief Russell French, the Rangeley Chief of Police. After the award presentations, Senator King spoke about the importance of conservation, biodiversity and outdoor recreation in Western Mountains of Maine.

“For almost thirty years, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust has brought area communities together through the values of preserving, protecting and enjoying the lands around them,” said Senator King. “In my years of work, I haven’t come across many individuals who have the commitment to stewardship that Nancy does – her passion and commitment to the outdoors is inspiring. Nancy is well aware that conservation work is never quite done and there’s always more to do to preserve and protect the qualities that make this area so special. I’m thrilled to present her with this award – I couldn’t imagine a more qualified conservationist to be the inaugural recipient.”

“The Senator Angus King Award for Conservation Excellence is to publicly acknowledge environmental champions, such as Senator King, who work to conserve public lands for future generations,” said David Miller, Executive Director of Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust. “It is specifically intended to honor those heroic and unheralded citizens who work, often outside the public spotlight, to care for our lands and waters. Individuals who may qualify for the award have shown outstanding environmental stewardship, gathered people together for a common cause of protecting the environment, and established a track record in conservation leadership.”

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust partners with nonprofit organizations, residents, community groups and state and local governments to preserve and protect land within the Rangeley Lakes Region, beginning operations in 1991. They continuously work to expand outdoor recreational opportunities by building trails and creating year-round activities for community members.

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, Senator King is known within Congress as a champion of efforts to preserve, protect, and promote America’s national parks and public lands. He is a lead sponsor of the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation which would address the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog without affecting the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Senator King has long advocated in favor of permanent reauthorization of the LWCF, which was signed into law as part of the public lands package in early March.


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