(left to right) Thornton, NWTF spokesperson Brenda Valentine, Mason.
"I have to share my feeling of humility to be among today's group of inductees, as well as all of you who were inducted previously," Thornton said. "I've had the great opportunity to help chart a new course for the NWTF, one that reflected the ever-changing culture of conservation and hunting. And I don't ever claim to have done this alone. The NWTF's great staff, dedicated partners, incredible board of directors and, above all, our unrivaled volunteers are the one who have made this possible."
Thornton has served as CEO of the NWTF since June 2008. Under Thornton's leadership, the NWTF has signed memorandums of understanding with several other conservation organizations, wildlife management agencies in every state and federal agencies responsible for forest and wildlife management. The NWTF also launched its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative and began construction of the NWTF Hunting Heritage Center and Palmetto Shooting Complex.
The initiative and accompanying facilities will help solve some of the biggest issues facing the outdoor industry today – decreased hunter participation, and loss of wildlife habitat and places to hunt.
"The Legends of the Outdoors is proud to honor Mr. George Thornton with his induction into the hall of fame," said Mason, "Legends of the Outdoors" founder and executive director. "George has been a leader in the outdoors industry and has worked for years to help conserve our wildlife for future generations to enjoy. George personifies a 'Legends of the Outdoors' hall of fame member and I can't think of anyone more deserving."
Joining Thornton in this year's class of hall of fame inductees are Colorado Buck, Mark and Terry Drury, Lucy Mize, W.R. Sauey and Fred Bear, posthumously.
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
About "Legends of the Outdoors" National Hall of Fame
Founded by Garry Mason in 2002, "The Legends of the Outdoors" National Hall of Fame was established to recognize outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen who, through countless hours of hard work and devotion to the outdoors in hunting and fishing, have played an integral part in setting the standards and guidelines for the rest of the outdoor world to follow.