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FRIDAY, SEPT. 14, 2012

CONTACT: Brian Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service

N.C. Forest Service named 2011 Natural Resources Agency
of the Year by Wildlife Federation

RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service has received the 2011 Natural Resources Agency of the Year award from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

Photo of Wib Owen

State Forester Wib Owen accepts the Natural Resources Agency of the Year Award at the N.C. Wildlife Federation's awards banquet Sept. 8.

“Last year was historic for the N.C. Forest Service as the staff responded to emergencies around the state and nation, including tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires in Texas, and a significant number of large wildfires across the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

In 2011, Forest Service staff spent a considerable amount of time on fires, battling about 5,000 across the state, including eight large fires. Fires burned almost 100,000 acres and required Forest Service staff to fill 1,500 firefighting positions. In addition to battling wildfires, 36 Forest Service employees assisted with relief efforts after tornadoes touched down across North Carolina in April.

Another 160 crew members were dispatched to Texas last year to assist with fires burning in that state at the time.

When Hurricane Irene worked its way up the N.C. coast in August, more than 100 Forest Service employees responded as chainsaw crews and overhead personnel to help with recovery efforts.

“All these wildfires and storm recovery efforts required a large number of staff to work 14-day assignments and daily shifts of 12 to 16 hours, often in very difficult conditions,” Troxler said. “Staff members that were not assigned to incidents remained at their home units and worked on normal fire activities while handling their usual workload.”

“In spite of the fire season we endured, the men and women that work for the N.C. Forest Service were able to make significant accomplishments that benefited the people and resources of North Carolina in 2011,” said State Forester Wib Owen. “This award is confirmation of the hard work, dedication and commitment that each and every employee of the Forest Service puts into their jobs each and every day to make it the first-class agency that it is.”


NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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