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TRUE PARK CONSERVATIONIST DIES; NATIONAL PARK WATCHDOG GROUP MOURNS DEATH OF FORMER U.S. PARK DIRECTOR

TRUE PARK CONSERVATIONIST DIES; NATIONAL PARK WATCHDOG GROUP MOURNS
 DEATH OF FORMER U.S. PARK DIRECTOR
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The death of William Penn Mott Jr., the man who rose through the ranks to become the 12th director of the National Park Service, is being mourned by the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA). Mott, who was 82, died on Monday at Orinda, Calif.
 "Bill Mott was a true conservationist and one of the last half century's greatest defenders of the national parks," said NPCA President Paul Pritchard. Mott served on NPCA's board of trustees from 1981 to 1985, when he was appointed to the directorship of the National Park Service (NPS).
 "His term as NPS director came in a dark period for national parks and our environment," declared Pritchard, referring to the years during the Reagan administration when the Department of Interior was headed by James Watt and Donald Hodel. "He fought hard against those forces that worked against expanding our National Park System and thwarted the professionalization of the National Park Service."
 Mott began his career with the National Park Service in 1933 as a landscape architect. Later, he was to become superintendent of parks for the city of Oakland, Calif. For the last three years Mott worked with the National Park Service on the transition of the Presidio, in San Francisco, from a U.S. Army post to a new national park.
 "For Bill Mott, parks represented more than just bits and pieces of open space," said Pritchard. "Parks were as important as buildings and business. Bill realized early on that every community benefits when it dedicates some of its resources and energies to the development and maintenance of parks."
 The range of parks with which Mott worked ran from state parks, the Oakland Zoo and city parks to America's crown jewels, the national parks.
 In 1985 Mott became the service's director and, according to Pritchard, Mott put biodiversity and resource interpretation onto the front burners.
 "We are all going to miss him and his leadership," said Pritchard. "Bill Mott was a mentor, and it is because of him that many of us today can call ourselves park professionals."
 The National Parks and Conservation Association is America's only private non-profit citizen organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of our national parks. Founded in 1919, NPCA today has more than 300,000 members.
 -0- 9/23/92
 /CONTACT: Nick Clark of the National Parks and Conservation Association, 202-223-6722, ext. 120/ CO: National Parks and Conservation Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH -- DC004 -- 2507 09/23/92 09:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1992
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