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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR C. THOMAS WYCHE OF GREENVILLE, DISTINGUISHED ATTORNEY, CIVIC LEADER, AND ENVIRONMENTALIST, FOR HIS TIRELESS WORK SPANNING MORE THAN FORTY YEARS TO CONSERVE THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE LANDS AND WATERS OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives pause to express their gratitude for the significant work of C. Thomas "Tommy" Wyche of Greenville in protecting the environmental wonders of the Blue Ridge Escarpment of South Carolina; and
Whereas, Mr. Wyche earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1946 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1949, and together with his beloved wife, Harriet Smith Wyche, he reared three fine children; and
Whereas, now a senior member of Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, P. A., in Greenville, he served his community on the board of directors of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and of the Greenville Symphony Association; as the past president of the board of directors of the YMCA, of Greenville Little Theater, and of Greenville Arts Festival; and on the board of trustees for the United Way of Greenville and for the Greenville County Foundation; and
Whereas, in 1972, he pioneered the wilderness preservation movement in our State by founding Naturaland Trust through which he has practiced his lifelong commitment to the environment, including spearheading efforts to designate the Chattooga River as a wild and scenic river and being instrumental in drafting the South Carolina Construction Easement Act and the South Carolina Heritage Trust Act, the first in the United States; and
Whereas, for twenty-five years he worked to preserve forty thousand acres of pristine natural beauty marked by sheer cliffs, craggy peaks, steep terrain, rushing rivers, countless waterfalls, and dense forests along the South Carolina-North Carolina border only thirty minutes from Greenville, known as the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, for which work he was awarded the nation's most prestigious environmental honor, the Conservation Foundation's Alexander Calder Conservation Award, in 1996; and
Whereas, Tommy Wyche's numerous conservation awards include the Daughters of the American Revolution National and Regional Conservation Achievement Awards in 2005; the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award in 2004; American Bar Association Award for Excellence in Environmental and Resource Stewardship in 2002; Duke Energy Environmental, Safety & Health Award in 2001; the Gulf Oil National Conservation Award in 1983; and Environmentalist of the Year Award from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation in 1979; and
Whereas, his civic and conservation efforts have earned him honorary doctorate degrees from Clemson University, Furman University, and Wofford College; and
Whereas, from 1994 to 2009, he authored seven books largely about the Blue Ridge Escarpment, including four editions of Guide to the Mountain Bridge Trails; he holds three U. S. patents related to his outdoor interests, and he designed and sponsored the only suspension bridge in South Carolina, constructed over Raven Cliff Falls in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness in 1995; and
Whereas, an avid backpacker and wildlife photographer, he enjoys not only the breathtaking terrain he has worked so fervently to protect in South Carolina but also trails around the world; and
Whereas, he is a former South Carolina Singles Tennis Champion and the South Carolina-North Carolina doubles winner and formerly ranked second in doubles in the South; he also ranked number one in senior competition in the age-brackets of thirty-five, forty-five, fifty-five, sixty-five, and seventy; and
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are grateful for the environmental legacy that C. Thomas Wyche has established for generations of South Carolinians to come and for his commitment to the citizens of his community and to the conservation of beauty in the Palmetto State. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor C. Thomas Wyche of Greenville, distinguished attorney, civic leader, and environmentalist, for his tireless work spanning more than forty years to conserve the natural beauty of the lands and waters of South Carolina.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to C. Thomas Wyche.
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