Georgia County Government - February 2008 - (Page 29)

Feature DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb: Establishing a Foundation for Georgia’s Natural Resources S tanding on the edge of the rolling foothills of Paulding Forest in early December, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Noel Holcomb watched Governor Sonny Perdue announce three significant state land purchases in Paulding, Decatur and McIntosh counties with a smile. “People will look back on these acquisitions as defining projects, like when the state protected places like Ossabaw and Sapelo Islands and Chickasawhatchee Swamp,” Holcomb said. “These are the kinds of things that I wanted to accomplish as DNR Commissioner.” Named DNR Commissioner in August 2004, Holcomb set several goals as head of the agency responsible for managing and conserving Georgia’s wildlife, operating more than 1 million acres of wildlife management areas and public fishing areas and state parks, protecting coastal marshlands, preserving historic resources and regulating environmental quality. These goals included setting a clear vision for land conservation, expanding partnerships to protect and conserve Georgia’s natural resources, increasing outdoor recreational opportunities and working on water resources issues. It’s no secret Holcomb’s passion is wildlife conservation. Nationally, he serves as chairman of the Teaming With Noel Holcomb Wildlife Committee for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and also served on the national review committee for the development of State Wildlife Action Plans, which seek to identify species of concern and threats to their future and to develop action plans to conserve them. Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan is considered among the best in the nation and is the blueprint for setting priorities for land conservation. “Commissioner Holcomb has been true to his word on expanding DNR’s partnerships,” said Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Deputy Director Ross King. “He’s opened Under Holcomb’s leadership, DNR has launched the Education Roundtable, a partnership of organizations committed to providing a unified approach to education and outreach on environmental issues. the federal/state/local government partnership door working closely with ACCG since his administration began. He has specifically concentrated on a series of creative approaches for management projects that will directly benefit county governments in many regions of Georgia. He has assembled a group of tremendous professionals on his DNR team. ACCG is extremely proud of our close working relationship with Commissioner Holcomb and his dedicated staff!” In the last two years, Holcomb has been very involved in the development of the Comprehensive Statewide Water Plan as a member of the Water Council. This plan, which will be presented to the General Assembly in January, will provide for the assessment of capacities of Georgia’s water resources, project future water needs, and set the framework for regional water planning that will occur over the next three years. “We didn’t know when we started the water planning process that we would complete the plan during a time when our state was facing the worst drought on record,” Holcomb said. “This backdrop only underscores the need for solid planning and the need to think about water as the finite resource that it is so that we can meet human needs and continue the economic prosperity our state has enjoyed without sacrificing the health of our waterways and ecosystems.” Under Holcomb’s leadership, DNR also has launched the Education Roundtable, a partnership of organizations committed to providing a unified HOLCOMB continued on page 30 FEBRUARY 2008 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - February 2008

Georgia County Government - February 2008
President's Message
County Matters
Regional Focus on the Georgia Mountains: Rabun, Habersham and Stephens Counties
DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb
Solid Waste Management in Georgia: New Challenges Ahead
Essential Elements of Negotiating Professional Service Firm Contracts
The Walker County Courthouse at LaFayette
Extension News: Partnerships are Key to Conservation Education
Research Corner: Interns: An Asset to Every County
NACo News: Counties and Climate Change FAQs
Georgia Flag to Travel to All 159 Georgia Counties
State Announces Regional Recycling Hub Grant Awards
Abraham Joins ACCG Support Staff
County Parade
ACCG Launches e-Magazine
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - February 2008