PRES­I­DENT CARTER AN RCGS MEDAL­LIST

Canadian Geographic - - ON THE MAP -

For­mer United States pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter has been awarded the Lawrence J. Burpee medal, one of the RCGS’S high­est hon­ours, in recog­ni­tion of his role in ex­pand­ing the U.S. na­tional parks sys­tem and on­go­ing work with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity. John Geiger, RCGS CEO ( ABOVE, right), pre­sented the for­mer pres­i­dent with the medal in a small cer­e­mony at Carter’s church in Plains, Ge­or­gia, on Fe­bru­ary 19. “It’s in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing for us to have this global leader, who has had a life­long con­nec­tion to Canada, as a Fel­low of the So­ci­ety,” says Geiger. “He rep­re­sents the best of Amer­ica, in many re­spects.” Carter served as the 39th pres­i­dent of the United States from 1977 to 1981. One of his sig­na­ture achieve­ments was pass­ing the 1980 Alaska Na­tional In­ter­est Lands Con­ser­va­tion Act, which granted pro­tec­tion to more than 63 mil­lion hectares of land and cre­ated 17 mil­lion hectares of new park­land in­clud­ing Wrangell-st. Elias, Amer­ica’s largest na­tional park. Wrangell-st. Elias bor­ders Glacier Bay Na­tional Park and Re­serve, Canada’s Klu­ane Na­tional Park and Re­serve and Tat­shen­shini-alsek Provin­cial Park in Bri­tish Columbia. To­gether, these share a UNESCO World Her­itage Site des­ig­na­tion, pro­tect­ing a vast com­plex of high moun­tain peaks, wild rivers and the world’s largest non-polar ice­field. Since 1984, Carter and his wife, Ros­alynn Carter, have been ac­tively in­volved with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, rais­ing funds and par­tic­i­pat­ing in builds in 14 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. This sum­mer, the Carters will take part in builds in Ed­mon­ton and Win­nipeg as part of a na­tion­wide Habi­tat Canada ini­tia­tive to build 150 homes in hon­our of Canada’s 150th birth­day.

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