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Roosevelt National Park leader honored

A national conservation group said this week it is honoring Valerie Naylor, superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota, for her work defending the park from the impact of energy development.

She also developed a successful elk-management plan and works to safeguard and promote Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch, the National Parks Conservation Association said this week.

The Stephen T. Mather Conservation Award that the group gave Naylor is named after the National Park Service's first director. It is given to those that have shown "steadfast leadership and persistent dedication to our national parks," the group said.

"Superintendent Naylor has led tremendous outreach efforts surrounding potential impacts of energy development to national park historic sites, viewsheds, visitor safety, night skies, and wildlife habitat, helping her to win victories along the way, including preventing development adjacent to the historic Elkhorn Ranch," the group said.

Naylor, a UND alumna, has been with the service for more than three decades.