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GOAL Organization to Receive Pulaski Award
Southwest Region, November 17, 2005
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The Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL) will receive the United States Department of Agriculture’s Pulaski Award on November 17th during a ceremony at the Fargo Elementary School, in Fargo, GA.  Named in honor of its creator, Edward “Big Ed” Pulaski, the Pulaski, a half ax/half hoe fire tool, has become the symbol of the wildland firefighters. Its utility, effectiveness, strength, and durability are respected world-wide. In 1998, the Secretary of Agriculture chose the Pulaski to represent a national award for excellence in firefighting, fire safety, and interagency cooperation within the firefighting community. The ceremony on November 17th will mark the fourth time that the Pulaski Award has been presented, since its inception in 1998.

GOAL was nominated for its achievements in interagency cooperation and coordination, safety for its firefighter members, and its outstanding group performance in fire management and suppression activities during the Blackjack Bay Complex Fires of 2001-2002, and again during the Impassable Bay and Road 1 Fires in 2004. During the both wildland fire incidents, GOAL members employed a coordinated management strategy, which proved effective in terms of reducing the amount of damage to habitat, structures, and commercial property. GOAL’s ability to utilize coordinated communications and management practices during these incidents greatly increased the safety factor for its on-the-ground firefighting resources, and resulted in one of the lowest cost-per-acre suppression efforts seen in the region in decades.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Business Management and Wildland Fire, Nina Rose Hatfield will present the Pulaski Award to GOAL. Accepting the award on behalf of the GOAL organization will be its current chairman, Jim Barrett, Vice-president of Langdale Woodlands. Representatives of GOAL, district Congressional offices, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Forestry Commission, Florida Division of Forestry, and from the local communities served by this unique partnership will also attend the award ceremony.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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