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Jack Elrod -- Writer and Illustrator of the Mark Trail Comic Strip

Jack Elrod. Credit: USFWS

Mark Trail logo.

For the past 40 years, Jack Elrod has been associated with the syndicated Mark Trail comic feature. For the past 18 years, he has both written and illustrated the daily and Sunday strips.

Elrod's Mark Trail comic strip has won over 30 conservation awards from government agencies and private organizations like the National Wildlife Federation, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Forest Association, the Georgia Wildlife Association, the American Waterfowl and Wetland Association, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

In 1991 and 1992, Elrod served as a judge in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

For the National Wildlife Federation, Elrod illustrated the 1980 poster which stresses the importance of preserving the nation's wetlands. A total of 16, 500 acres in the Chattahoochee National Forest were reserved by Congress in 1991 as a Mark Trail Wilderness Area. It is the only wilderness area in the nation to be named after a character in a comic strip. A resolution is now (May 1998) pending in Congress to recognize Elrod for his ongoing work in keeping Americans in touch with nature. U.S. representative John Linder from Georgia is sponsoring the bill.

Jack Elrod. Credit: USFWS

Elrod's comics typically present information promoting public awareness of imperiled species

Mark Trail Copyright 1998 North American Syndicate, Inc. Reissued online by special permission of King Features Syndicate

Current Honors and Awards:

1998: The National Weather Service and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration honor Elrod in Washington, D.C. for his many years of public service. He also receives an award from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

1996: National Weather Service's Public Service Award.

1994: Golden Bear Award from the Department of Agriculture; Conservation Communicator of the Year Award from the Georgia Wildlife Federation; and a Proclamation signed by the Governor of Georgia.

1989: A national Take Pride in America Award presented at the White House, and a Conservation Award from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior.

1987: Georgia Take Pride in America Award.

Elrod was born in Gainesville, Georgia. He is married, with four children and 11 grandchildren.

For the Fish & Wildlife Service, Elrod has illustrated and written several coloring books which have been distributed to students throughout the nation They include: Wetlands Coloring Book; Take Pride in America with Mark Trail: A Coloring Book; and Mark Trail Tells the Story of a Fish in Trouble (Illustrated).

Jack Elrod drawing. Credit: USFWS

Last updated: January 21, 2010