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Gratitude expressed for ‘conservation giant’ SCDNR Chairman Emeritus Marion Burnside

January 11, 2021

South Carolina Natural Resources Board 'Chairman Emeritus' Marion Burnside of Columbia pictured during his Board service in 1988 (SCDNR photo by Ted Borg)

South Carolina Natural Resources Board 'Chairman Emeritus' Marion Burnside of Columbia pictured during his Board service in 1988 (SCDNR photo by Ted Borg)

Current and former officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) today expressed sorrow at the passing of Board Chairman Emeritus Marion Burnside, along with gratitude for his long-standing commitment to natural resources conservation and stewardship in South Carolina.

Burnside, chairman emeritus of the SCDNR board, a retired Columbia businessman, sportsman and conservationist, passed away Sunday, Jan. 10.

"Marion Burnside was a true giant in the conservation of our state’s natural resources," said Mike Campbell, former vice-chairman of the SCDNR Board. "No one in recent history has had a greater impact on the preservation of our natural resources, and that impact will be felt for generations to come. He was my friend and mentor and will be greatly missed."

"Marion Burnside devoted his life to conservation," said current SCDNR Board Chairman Norman Pulliam. "He advocated for sound use and management of the state's valuable natural resources and was a long-time supporter of the Department of Natural Resources. His conservation accomplishments were many, yet he was a humble and unassuming man."

Burnside served on SCDNR advisory committees for more than 15 years, including two four-year terms on the SCDNR Board, serving as chairman for seven of those years. In 2018, Burnside received the Quality Deer Management Association's (QDMA) Ambassador award for his years of dedication to the group and its mission. He maintained an open-door policy for his Millaree Hunt Club, allowing many youngsters and adults to harvest their first deer there. Burnside hosted hunts at Millaree for disabled hunters and injured war veterans, as well as youth hunts. One of his trademarks was facilitating cooperation among numerous environmental and conservation groups and the SCDNR. Those groups included The Nature Conservancy, South Carolina Forestry Association, South Carolina Sportsmen’s Coalition, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and QDMA.

In 1994 Burnside was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor given to an individual for public service by the Governor of South Carolina. Also in 1994, Burnside received the South Carolina Environmental Awareness award, an annual award that acknowledges outstanding contributions made toward the protection, conservation, and improvement of South Carolina’s natural resources.

Media Contact: David Lucas