November 19, 2021
BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, today welcomed the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of Charles Sams III to serve as Director of the National Park Service (NPS) – having repeatedly urged top leadership at the Department of Interior to support stable leadership at NPS, given the Service has not had a Senate-confirmed director since 2017. Following his confirmation, Sams becomes the first Native American to lead the NPS.
“Now more than ever, Americans are hearing the call of nature and looking for opportunities to get outside,” said Senator King. “America’s national parks provide our citizens with the space and opportunity to connect with the natural world around us and create lifelong family memories. These protected lands are America’s greatest idea – but they’re facing a number of serious threats, including the risk of being “loved to death” by increased visitation, years of insufficient investments in our hardworking NPS staff, and the looming dangers of climate change. The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act last year was an important step to preserve and restore our lands for the long run; to fulfill that vision of protecting these lands for our children and grandchildren, we need solid, focused leadership to lead the National Park Service into the future. I am confident that Charles Sams is that type of leader, and look forward to working alongside him to strengthen and defend America’s greatest natural treasures for the next generation.”
A member of the Energy and Natural Resources and Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Senator King is among the Senate’s loudest voices advocating for public lands and encouraging outdoor recreation. He was recently awarded the inaugural National Park Foundation (NPF) “Hero” Award. Senator King helped lead the passage the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law; the legislation includes the Restore Our Parks Act – a bill led by Senator King – and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. The historic legislative package continues Senator King’s career-long focus on conservation efforts, dating back to his work prior to running for elected office through his years as Governor and his service in the Senate. Over the course of his time in the Blaine House, Governor King was responsible for conserving more land across Maine than all Governors before him combined.