Harpers Ferry, WV (PressExposure) July 20, 2011 -- Donald T. King, chief realty officer for the National Park Service (NPS) National Trail Land Resources Program Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Pamela Underhill, manager of the NPS Appalachian Trail Park Office (ATPO) in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, received the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) National Partner Award during the ATC's 2011 biennial membership conference in July. They are the first recipients of this award, which recognizes dedication on the part of public-agency employees to the preservation and management of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.).
"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to work with such partners as Don King and Pam Underhill," said David N. Startzell, Executive Director of the ATC. "Their dedication and commitment to the Trail has helped tremendously in its protection so that future generations can enjoy this national treasure for years to come."
The National Partner Award recognizes individuals for their service in the protection and management of the A.T. Recipients of the award are public-agency employees who have contributed substantially to the success of the A.T. project over an extended period of time and who have a Trail-wide impact.
King has spent more than 40 years with the National Park Service focusing the majority of the past 32 years to supporting and eventually overseeing the NPS land acquisition program for the A.T. Over that time, King has been involved, directly and indirectly, in the acquisition of lands and interests in lands along the Trail in eleven states, affecting more than 2,500 parcels and 117,000 acres, and extending federal protection along 620 miles of the Trail.
Underhill has devoted more than 32 years to the defense of the A.T. and its associated resources. While being a strong and articulate advocate for land conservation along the Trail, she has also been forceful in defending and supporting the unique partnership that exists among ATPO, the ATC, Trail-maintaining clubs, and A.T. volunteers. Underhill has also been a supporter of youth- and community-engagement programs intended to cultivate the next generation of Trail volunteers.