DNR Board honors former congressman with conservation achievement award

Former U.S. Rep. Lindsay Thomas, from left, poses with DNR Board Member Nancy Addison, and DNR Board Chair Joe Hatfield on Jekyll Island on April 24, 2024. DNR photo by Trevor Santos.

ATLANTA (May 1, 2024) — The Georgia Board of Natural Resources on April 24 named a former congressman as the recipient of the 2023 Rock Howard Conservation Achievement Award during its meeting on Jekyll Island.

U.S. Rep. Lindsay Thomas, who served Georgia’s First Congressional District from 1983 to 1993, was recognized as an environmental and natural resource leader who embodies the passion and success of Rock Howard, the state's first director of the Environmental Protection Division.

Recipients of the Rock Howard Award have made significant contributions to Georgia by supporting the Department of Natural Resources' mission "to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia's natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices."

"This award is well-deserved by Lindsay," said Board Chairman Joe Hatfield of Clarkesville. "We are grateful for his work on agriculture, natural resources, and energy issues while serving in Congress. His leadership during his time in Washington, D.C., and his continued work on behalf of conservation throughout the state are a source of pride for Georgia conservationists."

Thomas' lifelong dedication to environmental protection stems from his upbringing in rural southeast Georgia. He spent his youth hunting and fishing, appreciating the beauty of the Altamaha and Satilla rivers, and exploring the nearby coastal marshes.

"There is no one more deserving of this esteemed conservation award than Lindsay," said Board Member Nancy Addison of coastal Georgia, who nominated Thomas. "As a farmer and forester, he has been a vocal and respected advocate for protecting and conserving our resources for future generations."

Thomas channeled his passion for the outdoors and conservation during his 10 years in Congress.  He co-founded the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in 1989 to bring together members of the House and Senate in a bipartisan effort to support America's hunting and fishing communities in federal policy decisions. The Caucus has grown into the largest bipartisan caucus in Congress, with more than 200 members. It is credited with influencing policies that benefit hunters and anglers and has inspired the creation of parallel caucuses in 50 states and 36 governors' offices. The Caucus honored Thomas in 2023 for his lifetime achievements and continued service on the Board of the Caucus Foundation.

Currently, Thomas volunteers with a Wayne County authority tasked with upgrading and expanding the JC Landing on the Altamaha River near Jesup. Upon completion, the enhanced landing will include an interpretive and educational center, attracting ecotourists, birdwatchers, boaters, and promoting environmental education.

For further information, contact:

Trevor W. Santos
Deputy Commissioner
Georgia Department of Natural Resources