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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

May 12, 2011

DNR assistant director receives national award for conservation excellence

Emily Cope, Assistant Director with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recently received the 2010 honoree of the 2010 Forest Legacy Conservation Excellence Award. The national award is presented annually by the USDA Forest Service to one of its state partners for exceptional leadership in conserving forested land at the state level.

Cope, a South Carolina native born in Lodge, SC and who began working for DNR in 1999, has worked with the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) for twelve years, which makes her the longest tenured state coordinator in the Southeast. Through her exceptional leadership and her tireless dedication, Cope
developed the FLP in South Carolina into the largest in the region, which now protects over 75,000 acres of forest land that will benefit future generations to come. Cope played a leading role in developing project participation with land trust organizations such as The Conservation Fund, Katawba Valley Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Working closely with conservation program managers within federal, state, and private agencies, Cope has always demonstrated a willingness and ability to share her knowledge, experience, and leadership to help make the FLP a success. Cope’s leadership and logistical skills were amply demonstrated when she hosted the national FLP meeting in 2006 and the regional FLP meeting in 2009.

The Forest Legacy Program is a federal program that provides grants to states for the purchase of forested land threatened with development. In 2010, FLP celebrated its 20th year of existence and surpassed the 2,000,000 acre mark in protecting forests around the nation. The Southern Region of the Forest Service is made up of 13 states in the southeastern portion of the United States.

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