MARCH 7, 2022

Protecting water quality in Georgia is a primary focus of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). A specialized team at GFC that is instrumental in monitoring water resources near forestry operations has earned the agency’s 2021 Forest Management Team of the Year award.

“It is especially fitting for the GFC’s Water Quality Program to be honored for its work,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “It represents a great success story about the way all segments of forestry – from planting and cultivating, to harvesting and transporting timber – are working together to protect this precious natural resource.” The Water Quality Program was one of 12 GFC Forest Management programs eligible for this annual honor.

The five-member Water Quality group was recognized for working tirelessly to support Best Management Practices (BMPs), the proven common-sense practices used to prevent or reduce water pollution during forestry operations. The team conducted regular statewide BMP Assurance monitoring, participated in many public events and meetings with forest stakeholders, and produced the comprehensive 2021 Forestry BMP Survey. The Water Quality group also provided content for online BMP education in Master Timber Harvester workshops and Continuing Logger Education.

The Water Quality specialists honored and their service regions are: Ritchie Mullen, North GA; Paul McDaniel, Central GA; Bert Earley, SW GA; and Matt Mrizek, SE GA.

“The crucial link between clean water supplies and healthy, well-managed forests is clear,” said Lowrimore. “We can be very proud of how the GFC Water Quality team has communicated the importance of that connection to people in Georgia and across the entire Southeast.”

For more information about programs and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit

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