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 PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Greg Walden 1/27/06

Walden Receives Legislator of the Year Award from National Conservation, Sportsmen's Organization

Safari Club International honors Walden for work on public land management, conservation

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) has been named Legislator of the Year by one of the nation's leading conservation and sportsmen's rights groups, Safari Club International (SCI).  The award is given to a single Member of Congress each year for their dedication to issues facing sportsmen and the environment, including public land management and conservation efforts. 

"As a hiker and outdoorsman, I understand clearly how important land management and habitat conservation efforts are to the well-being of animals, the environment and communities throughout the United States.  And as the representative of a district where more than fifty-percent of the land is publicly owned, I understand the necessity of a cooperative relationship between people and the government, especially those who earn a living off the land or recreate outdoors," said Walden. 

"Safari Club International does tremendous work throughout Oregon and across the country to enhance conservation efforts, and I applaud the work its members do for the benefit of both animals and the environment.  It is an honor to be recognized by SCI with this award," he added.

Walden has maintained his commitment to the rights of sportsmen through continued work with the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the Western Caucus and the Congressional Rural Caucus.  Additionally, Walden remains focused on land management and conservation policies that can help the federal government become the best possible stewards of public lands. 

"We are pleased to offer this recognition to Congressman Walden.  He is a key supporter of the conservation agenda in Congress, and his support was critical to the effort behind passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act," said SCI Vice President Merle Shepard.  "SCI also applauds Congressman Walden for taking a leading role in the debate over re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act.  The critical work that he is doing on the House Resources Committee and in the Congress benefits not only SCI members, but hunters and conservationists across the nation."

He is an original cosponsor for the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005, bipartisan legislation to strengthen and improve the 32-year-old Endangered Species Act which has a current species recovery rate of less than one-percent.

Additionally, Walden chairs the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forests Health.  He was co-author of the historic Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which became law in 2003, and is lead author of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act, introduced last November with Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA).  These two pieces of forest management legislation are aimed at providing federal land managers the tools and authorities necessary to responsibly manage forest lands at risk of and damaged by catastrophic events, which can destroy trees, habitat, and the quality of soil, water and air.

Safari Club International has chapters in 45 states and Puerto Rico, including two in Walden's congressional district, the Bend-based High Desert Chapter and the Klamath Falls-based Southern Oregon Chapter. 

Congressman Walden represents the Second District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in the southern, central and eastern regions of the state.  He is a Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.




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