Much like the conservationists who previously have received the Audubon Medal, including Stewart Udall, Rachel Carson and Ted Turner, I realize that this recognition cannot be a cause to rest, but a spur to continue our work.
We are too quickly losing important landscapes in this country to development - and I worry that if we do not act to protect them now, future generations will grow up in a profoundly different world.
My favorite memories growing up in North Carolina were hunting and fishing with my father and brothers. There, I developed a deep appreciation for protecting land and waterways. There, I learned outdoorsmanship.
The ability to manage large assets well - it's like being Michael Jordan or winning the gold in the Olympics; it's what you aspire to.
When a profit-seeking company proposes to take citizens' private land away for its own gain, people should stand up for their rights.
I am a conservationist. It is in my DNA.
I am proud to place Tercio Red River into a conservation easement forever protecting this spectacular landscape with Colorado Open Lands.
As a nation, we owe a great deal to the National Audubon Society, one of our most distinguished and important environmental organizations, and all those who work to protect America's open land and waterways.
My mother brought me numerous times to visit Orton as a child, and I have visited the gardens with my children many times. Orton is a gem on the Cape Fear River and I am excited about our restoration efforts to bring it back to its original landscape.
It is a wonderful honor to receive the Audubon Medal from the National Audubon Society, which for more than a century has fought tirelessly to protect and preserve our natural resources and environment for future generations.
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