News Releases

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Isakson Recognized as National Park Champion

Led efforts to expand, protect three Georgia historic sites

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today received the 2019 National Park Heritage Award from the National Parks Conservation Association for his leadership in passing the landmark John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, S.47, which provides protection for more than two million acres of national parks and public lands and the expansion of certain land within the National Park System, including sites in Georgia.

The public lands package, which was signed into law on March 12, included three pieces of legislation introduced by Isakson to expand and protect three Georgia historic sites spanning the state. The legislation also includes a measure Isakson has long supported to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this award,” Isakson said. “I have been working hard with state, local and federal officials to help preserve Georgia’s national parks and promote our state’s rich history for future generations. Our efforts will expand recreational activities for all Georgians and provide a boost for our tourism industry.” 

“It’s an honor to recognize Senator Isakson for championing this historic law that will enhance the National Park System for generations to come,” said Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association. “Our national parks protect the stories that define and unite us as a nation. Now, thanks to this new law, we have even more places to enjoy the outdoors and learn about our nation’s history. We commend Congressional leaders like Johnny Isakson who worked with colleagues across the aisle and across the country in support of our shared national parks and public lands that their constituents, and all Americans, care so deeply about.”

In Georgia, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act allows for the expansion of the Ocmulgee National Monument and renames the site as the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon. It also allows for the expansion and protection of both Fort Frederica National Monument in St. Simons Island, Ga., and Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park in Kennesaw, Ga. The new law also reauthorizes funds for the state, local and federal partnership to preserve the Augusta Canal as a National Heritage Area and promote tourism and commerce for the area. The public lands bill follows the December 2017 enactment of legislation Isakson also supported establishing the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta.

The John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was the largest bipartisan conservation and historic preservation legislation passed in years.

The full list of National Park Heritage Award recipients is available here, and more information regarding the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act can be found here.

About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. National Parks Conservation Association and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit