Interior Secretary to Speak about Take Pride at FMCA Convention

August 4, 2004

Contact: FMCA Robbin Gould or Pamela Kay, 1-800-543-3622 or 513-474-3622
As of August 14, Robbin Gould, 541-504-2249


REDMOND, Oregon -- U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton will speak to motorhome enthusiasts attending the 72nd International Convention of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) in Redmond, Oregon, on Thursday, August 19. FMCA is an international motorhome owners group headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The association's convention will take place at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond from August 16 through 19.

Secretary Norton's remarks will include a discussion of work underway to improve visitor services at our national parks and the investments made towards reducing the parks’ maintenance backlog. She will also address the newly revitalized stewardship and volunteerism program, Take Pride in America. This national campaign encourages federal, state and local public and private partnerships and volunteer service to protect public parks, recreation areas and cultural resources. Its primary focus is to invite Americans to offer their time and service to help protect and restore public resources and facilities in their community. The original program was instituted during the Reagan Administration and continued until 1993. Secretary Norton announced the relaunch of the program in April 2003. The Secretary is also expected to address the See America’s Parks communications program and new initiatives to help Americans discover opportunities for healthy fun on federal lands and waters covering one third of the nation, including Recreation One-Stop.

The Secretary will address the audience assembled for an evening entertainment program in the Deschutes Event Center, on the grounds of the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center. Her remarks will begin at approximately 5:15 p.m.

Secretary Norton will be accompanied by Marti Allbright, executive director of the Take Pride in America program, Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition, and David J. Humphreys, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Their arrival in Redmond is part of the 2004 Take Pride Western Tour highlighting volunteer efforts on public lands across the west.

In conjunction with Secretary Norton's appearance in Redmond, Michelle Cangelosi, Director of Government & Community Relations for Take Pride in America, will present a seminar about the program on Thursday, August 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the South Sister Conference Hall at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center (Seminar 4). Ms. Cangelosi will outline the goals of the Take Pride in America program; explain how the program works; and discuss awards that individuals and groups can earn for their participation in this volunteer effort.

Secretary Norton was sworn in as the 48th Secretary of the Interior in January 2001 and became the first woman to head the 154-year old department, which oversees eight major government bureaus, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Park Service. She is a lifelong conservationist and an advocate for bringing commonsense solutions to environmental policy.

This past June, the American Recreation Coalition presented Secretary Norton with the 16th annual Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award, which recognizes individuals whose personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences in America. One of the Secretary's many accomplishments cited in the announcement of the award was her leadership of the revitalized Take Pride in America program, of which FMCA is a charter partner.

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