It’s not a secret that the Georgia Forestry Commission family is composed of hundreds of men and women who bring a formidable amount of expertise to forest landowners and the citizens of Georgia every day. Their dedication is routinely recognized by customers, legislators, and others, yet we all cheer louder when one of our own is selected for meaningful awards.

Georgia Forestry Commission Wildland Urban Interface Specialist Anthony English recently received the prestigious Robert E. Browning Award for 2019 in Georgia, recognizing his outstanding work to prevent wildfire.

“This recognition from the U.S. Forest Service is an outstanding achievement for Anthony and for our agency,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “Anthony is known for his collaborative work with all of our partners and cooperators to get the message out about the importance of wildfire prevention. North Georgians and the landscape itself have benefitted from the outreach he’s done to lessen the possibility of dangerous wildfires.”

The Robert E. Browning Award was established by the U.S. Forest Service in 1990 to acknowledge employees, groups or projects that are extremely valuable to the fire prevention effort. In 1994, the award’s name was changed to memorialize the loss of Robert Browning, who died fighting a wildfire in Colorado. Each State Fire Chief or the Forest Fire Management Officer is allowed to nominate one individual or group each year.

English was nominated for the award by Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Service Fire Management Officer Mike Davis. In his nomination documents, Davis described English as a “dedicated public servant,” and lauded him for a plethora of activities that promoted wildfire prevention. They included media appearances, extensive promotion of the Firewise USA program, many stints portraying Smokey Bear, and an assignment to the North Georgia Wildfire Prevention & Education Team during a flash drought period that was beginning to rival historic 2016 fall fire season conditions. Records indicate English’s program outreach over the past five years impacted close to 29,000 people at events large and small across north Georgia, yet Davis believes the impressions total several hundred thousand because of his collaborative efforts.

“I’m flattered and honored to receive this award,” said English. “People remember the 2016 fires in North Georgia and those in California. It’s encouraging that what we do has real meaning for them and can make a difference.”

English received a special plaque commemorating the honor during a surprise Zoom call with his GFC and USFS colleagues. He has been with the GFC for five years.