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Many of our readers know Whitey Markle, as he has appeared before our board and many meetings and advocacy events fighting common causes with Our Santa Fe River, Sabal Trail, fracking, the phosphate mine, and recently, new toll roads. He was recently recognized by the national Sierra Club with the Special Service Award, given out to only three people nation-wide last year.
As Chair of the Suwannee St. Johns group with around 2,300 members, Whitey is continually attending meetings, giving talks and writing articles, some of which we have published here (see “Time to start answering Mr. Markle’s questions,” and “Governor shows true colors.”
OSFR sends special congratulations and appreciation to Whitey for his long and dedicated service to our cause of protecting our rivers and springs.
The following article was taken from the July Newsletter of the Suwannee St. Johns Group Sierra Club.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Whitey Markle Honored with Special Service Award
By Harriett Jones
On June 16, Whitey Markle was notified by email from Ellen Davis, Chair, Sierra Club Awards Committee that:
“On behalf of the Sierra Club, it is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected to receive the Club’s 2019 Special Service Award. The award honors Sierra Club members for strong and consistent commitment to conservation or the Club over an extended period of time. You were nominated for this award by the Florida Chapter. You are invited to receive this award at a celebration to be held on Saturday evening, Sept. 14, at the Marriott Oakland City Center in Oakland, California.”
Following in the footsteps of veteran SSJ leader, the late Dwight Adams, who was awarded the National Special Service Award in 2013, Whitey has worked tirelessly since becoming Conservation Committee Chair in 2010. He became Chair of the SSJ group in 2017, served on the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors in 2017, as a Board member of the Silver Springs Alliance from 2015 until 2018, on the Board of Directors and Legal Committee Chair of the Florida Springs Council from 2016 until present, and was elected to the [Executive Committee of the] Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club in December of 2018. Whitey will step down from chairmanship of the SSJ Group at the end of 2019. The SSJ Executive Committee is proud to have such great leadership recognized by the National Sierra Club.