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The Wilderness Society will award former president Jimmy Carter...

ATLANTA -- The Wilderness Society will award former president Jimmy Carter the Ansel Adams Conservation Award Friday for enactment of the Alaska Lands Act in 1980.

National Chairman Gaylord Nelson said Carter will receive the society's highest honor 'in recognition of his commitment and leadership toward the successful passage of the greatest conservation achievement in American history, the Alaska Lands Act.'

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The legislation restricted future development on over 104 million acres of Alaskan land, guaranteed the conveyance of 44 million acres of land to Alaska's natives, and upheld the state's selection of 98 million acres that it was to receive under its statehood act.

'Without President Carter's foresight and dedication this tremendous legislative feat would not have been possible,' Nelson said.

The award will be presented by Wilderness Society President Harold Jerry at the Atlanta home of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Yarn. Mrs. Yarn was appointed to the Council on Environmenatal Quality by Carter during his administration and is known for her conservation work in Georgia.

About 250 environmental leaders were expected to attend.

Ansel Adams is renowned for his wilderness photography and conservation efforts.

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