Forest Service ecologist receives national honor

Release Date: Feb 11, 2019

Signage noting pitcher plant bog

JACKSON, Miss. February 11, 2019 – A USDA Forest Service ecologist from south Mississippi was recognized nationally today in Washington D.C. as one of three 2019 Champions of the Year for his commitment to training the next generation of natural resource professionals.

Tate Thriffiley, who served as ecologist on the De Soto Ranger District based in Wiggins at the time of the nomination, received the honor from the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, a national effort to put thousands of young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors. Thriffiley now serves as National Environmental Policy Act planner for the De Soto National Forest which also includes the Chickasawhay Ranger District based in Ellisville.

“This a well-deserved and fitting recognition for a Forest Service employee who has a true land ethic and is committed to natural resources and conservation today and tomorrow,” said Carl Petrick, forest supervisor for the National Forests in Mississippi. “Tate truly exemplifies the Forest Service motto: ‘caring for the land and serving people.’”

The 21CSC Champion of the Year Award recognizes individuals from partner organizations – including nonprofits and government agencies – who have gone above and beyond to engage and support the training of the next generation of resource management professionals, community leaders, and outdoor recreationists. Champions are selected through a nomination process.

Thriffiley was chosen based on his commitment and efforts building a sustainable partnership between the Mississippi Gulf Corps and the De Soto National Forest that included training of young adults as well as landscape level conservation accomplishments.

“I am thankful to be a part of this work with the MS Gulf Corps,” Thriffiley said. “It’s a great honor to receive the recognition for the work we’ve done and the relationships we’ve developed. The greatest gift has been getting to know the young adults in this program and seeing their passion for conservation of the natural world grow as they simultaneously learn and practice skillsets for managing the land in a holistic manner.”

At the heart of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps are over 230 nonprofit and government-operated “Corps.” Corps are organizations that – through partnerships with resource management agencies, conservation organizations, and the Corporation for National and Community Service – annually engage roughly 25,000 young people and veterans in maintenance, improvement and disaster response projects in communities and on public lands and waters.

Thriffiley pointed out that it’s really a group achievement and recognized that there were many directly and indirectly involved from the Gulf Corps and the Forest Service that led to the success.

“I am fortunate to have great co-workers in National Forests in Mississippi. Thanks to that support, we were able to dedicate time toward planning, and most importantly, training of Gulf Corps members. I also appreciate the support of the Corps Network, Climb CDC, and the Nature Conservancy.”


See pdf version of News Release here



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