Published: October 6, 2010
CLEMSON, S.C. — A man sometimes called the modern face of the Buffalo Soldiers was named winner of the William C. Everhart Award on Sept. 29 during Clemson University’s annual George B. Hartzog Jr. Environmental Awards luncheon.
The Everhart Award, named for a former National Park Service chief of interpretation, recognizes a professional for sustained achievements in park or historic site interpretation.
The award was presented to Shelton A. Johnson, an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service since 1987. His work assignments have included Great Basin National Park and Yellowstone National Park. He now is an interpretive ranger in Yosemite National Park.
Johnson accepted a resolution passed in 2003 by the California Legislative Black Caucus honoring the contributions made to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks by the Buffalo Soldiers. In 2006, the governor of Kentucky presented Shelton with a commission as a Kentucky Colonel for his work searching for descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers in the state. He was featured in the Ken Burns documentary, "National Parks: America's Best Idea."
Johnson was selected as a member of the National Park Service delegation to China in 2000. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received a degree in poetry.
Brett Wright, chairman of the Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM), presented the award at the annual program and lecture series named for Hartzog, director of the National Park Service from 1964 through 1972.
The Hartzog Fund at Clemson University allows the PRTM department to sponsor the Hartzog Lecture Series in Resource Management.
Established in 1966, Clemson’s PRTM department is one of the largest and oldest of its type in North America. The department has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the National Park Service and other federal and state land management agencies.