FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2002
The staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkston, Georgia today received a Citation for Excellence of Service from Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. The award was presented for effectively managing wild fires in and around the refuge during April through June of this year, when fire burned more than one-third of the 396,000-acre refuge.
“We are proud of the exemplary professionalism and skill that
the entire refuge staff displayed in battling the wild fires on their
refuge,” said Service Director Steve Williams, who presented the
Working with the Okefenokee Refuge staff to battle the fire was the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL), a group of more than 15 private and corporate landowners that was formed in 1994. Other partners were the U.S. Forest Service, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and the Florida Division of Forestry. Together, these organizations prepared for the fires to approach the swamp boundary, and plowed more than 21,000 acres of firebreaks and more than 250 miles of Swamp Edge Break. They also effectively coordinated aircraft operations, suppressed spot fires, and mopped up firelines.
National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1937, is located
in four counties - Charlton, Ware, and Clinch Counties in Georgia and
Baker County, Florida. Its swamp is estimated to be 6,000 to 8,000 years
old. The Indian name, Okefenokee, means “Land that trembles when
you walk on it.” Over 400,000 people visit the refuge annually
to enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, wildlife observation, photography,
and wilderness canoe trails.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them - - via e-mail - - at the Service’s Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov Our national home page is located at: http://www.fws.gov .
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345