FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2011
Forestry Community Thanks State Senator for Years of Support
(Hemingway,SC) The forestry community has awarded State Senator Yancey McGill, D-Williamsburg, with a first-of-its-kind award for his unwavering support for their industry.
The South Carolina Forestry Commission, the South Carolina Forestry Association, and the Lower Pee Dee Forestry Association presented the Senator with the newly-minted Forestry Commission Challenge Coin.
Senator McGill’s commitment to forestry is well known in government and business circles. His district, the 32nd, includes the heavily forested counties of Florence, Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg and is home to several forest product mills.
Communities in his district also rely on the Forestry Commission to protect them, their homes, and their forested land from wildfire.
“Senator McGill recognizes how important supporting forest industry and the Commission is for citizens in his district and across the entire state of South Carolina,” says State Forester Gene Kodama, agency head of the Commission. “He knows we have to not only protect our forests from fire, insects, and diseases, but we also need to develop the state’s forest resource through the retention and growth of forestry businesses.”
These are the businesses, Kodama hastens to add, which harvest and grow trees. “The Senator’s efforts have greatly helped forestry remain the state’s number-one manufacturing segment, with regard to job numbers and wages paid,” Kodama says.
Forestry is essential to the healthy business environment and high quality of life associated with the communities in Senator McGill’s district. Many of his constituents work or have family who work in forestry-related fields. Forest product mills are numerous in the Pee Dee area, and they depend on active forest management for a sustainable wood supply.
"Senator McGill is an outstanding advocate for forestry and the wood and paper products industry. He is very deserving of the honor of receiving the SCFC Challenge Coin for his tireless efforts to promote forestry in South Carolina," says Cam Crawford of the South Carolina Forestry Association, an advocacy group for forest industry in the state.
Upon receiving the coin and recognition, Senator McGill said, “I really appreciate the award and the recognition. I have greatly enjoyed working with all the fine people in forestry and our natural resources over the years to retain the wonderful quality of life that we enjoy in my district and across South Carolina. We are now in a position to do even more things to better utilize our natural resources to create jobs and improve our fine state with partnerships like we have with the Forestry Commission and other resource agencies.”
As chair of the Senate’s Finance Subcommittee on natural resources, Senator McGill has fought hard every year to restore funding to the Commission and other natural resource agencies so they can fulfill their mission to protect and develop those resources.
That has been a difficult task in the face of dwindling state revenues, a direct result of the financial crisis worldwide.
“The support of state leaders like Senator McGill who work very hard through the best and worst of times is greatly appreciated by all South Carolina citizens,” Kodama says.
The idea of a Challenge Coin Award for excellence in mission accomplishment grew out of interactions with military personnel during the Commission’s military appreciation hunting program. Challenge coin programs are common in the military, and Commission personnel have received several such coins from soldiers who have participated in the military appreciation hunts.
The Forestry Commission coins are purchased with funding from a federal grant established to promote forestry.
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For more information, call Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820 or by email.
The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource
For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,800.00 of economic impact.