The Archaeological Conservancy’s president, Mark Michel, was recently awarded with the Cultural Resource Achievement Award from the George Wright Society, a prestigious international organization of park professionals. The Society strives to be the premier organization connecting people, places, knowledge, and ideas to foster excellence in natural and cultural resource management, research, protection, and interpretation in parks and equivalent reserves. In giving this award they say:
There are few individuals whose lives and careers have a broad and profound impact on the conservation of nature and culture throughout the United States. Mark Michel, founder and president of The Archaeological Conservancy (TAC), is one of those change-agents. In 1980, when Michel established TAC, he single-handedly changed the trajectory of how cultural resources are safeguarded. Michel was instrumental in Congress’s passage of the 1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act, strengthening legal protections against the destruction of archaeology.
Over the past 35 years, Michel’s efforts in advocating for, and effecting, conservation archaeology, cultural heritage stewardship, policy and legislative implementation, and public outreach are unsurpassed. Under Michel’s pioneering leadership, TAC remains the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to the permanent protection and management – through site acquisition from private landowners – of America’s endangered archaeological sites. An incalculable number of our nation’s cultural resources have been saved through his work.
As a harbinger within the conservation community, Michel’s resourcefulness, professionalism, and vision directly correlate to TAC’s success. By creating a national system of archaeological preserves for future generations to study and enjoy. Michel has helped to ensure survival of our irreplaceable cultural heritage – a lasting legacy for all.
Look for more about this story in the upcoming 2015 Summer issue of American Archaeology magazine.