Trailblazers: Our Friend in Conservation: Sen. Lamar Alexander Has Shown His Dedication to Park and Recreation Causes Time and Again

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Name: Lamar Alexander

Title: U.S. Senator

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has always been a friend to parks, recreation and conservation. He credits his affection for the outdoors to his upbringing in the scenic mountains of Tennessee. This senior senator has given much back to the land he calls home through tireless efforts to push conservation legislation through Congress.

Most recently, the Land and Water Conservation Fund received dedicated funding because of legislation he placed in the October 2006 offshore drilling bill. He is the 2005 recipient of NRPA's National Congressional Award and chaired the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. The Senator has served as U.S. Education Secretary, president of the University of Tennessee and as governor of Tennessee.

The future of parks and recreation: "I think like most of the world we live in, it is a rapidly changing future. There will be an enormous demand in our increasingly technological and busy society for quiet places and beautiful places and outdoors places. So there will be plenty to do to protect, preserve and enjoy and recreate in the great American outdoors. I would look for unexpected challenges. Who would have ever thought we'd have tens of thousands of cell phone towers around the country? Or tens of thousands of huge wind turbines that might interfere with enjoying beautiful views across America? I would look for private action. Who would have thought 20 years ago that private action would be the fastest-growing conservation movement in America? And I would look, for example, for conservation easements to create buffer zones around national and state parks because the funds won't be available to buy all those buffer zones, but individuals may be willing to create them. …