ALBUQUERQUE—Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) will receive the second annual Regional Policy Award from the nation’s largest organization of ecologists at the meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) on Aug. 2. The award recognizes a regional or local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing his political decision-making with ecological science.
“I appreciate this award not just because it is a tremendous honor, but because it says I am on your team,” said Udall. “We have a common mission—to promote policies guided by science—and I am pleased to have an ally like the ESA.”
“Senator Udall has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to public lands and conservation measures,” said ESA President Alison Power. “His actions reflect an understanding of the many ways in which society depends upon ecosystems.”
During his tenure in Congress, Udall has been a strong advocate for protecting natural ecosystems and the services they provide. He introduced key science and environmental legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives, including the National Forests Rehabilitation and Recovery Act, the National Improvement in Mathematics and Science Teaching Act and the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act. In his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Udall has introduced the first successful legislation to define a national renewable energy standard. He has an excellent voting record on ecological and environmental issues, scoring a lifetime 96 percent on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scale.
Sen. Udall’s activities demonstrate his recognition of the importance of scientific input into political decision making. He has maintained connections to the scientific community by employing scientists, such as biologist Johanna Polsenberg, who served as a senior legislative assistant. His 2004 commentary in ESA’s peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, titled “The Politics of Pollution,” show his commitment to restore bipartisanship to environmental issues. In 2006, Udall also organized a scientific forum on post-fire logging and forest ecology in Washington, D.C. to inform members of Congress about the science behind post-fire logging.
“ESA appreciates Senator Udall’s consistent support of ecological and environmental issues and looks forward his continued success in the Senate,” said Power.
For more information about the award and the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting, visit www.esa.org.