Mark Trail is my ideal man. He loves the outdoors—fishing, watching wildlife, whitewater rafting, blazing a trail through the woods. Mark Trail was an “environmentalist” long before it was cool to be one. He’s got well-established values but he’s also a forward-thinker. An old soul, forever 32. He’s a writer *swoon* and always getting into dangerous adventures. Often he discovers some kind of environmental crime and solves the mystery (sometimes punching the bad guy!) He loves animals, wetlands and hardheaded women. And did I mention his muscular arms and dashing good looks? Mark’s got that plucky hands-on-hips quality that makes me drool. Oh, wait, he’s married. Wait again, he’s a character from a comic strip. I always fall for the imaginary guys.
“Mark Trail,” a comic strip created by artist and naturalist Ed Dodd, later joined by Jack Elrod, has been teaching people about the importance of protecting natural resources since the 1950s. Wetlands are one of Mark’s biggest passions. In a recent newspaper, I came across this comic that highlights the duck stamp program.
Apparently, the artists’ inspiration for the character came from the real life conservation hero, Charles N. Elliott (November 29, 1906 – May 1, 2000), a U.S. forest ranger who edited Outdoor Life magazine from 1956 to 1974. Mark Trail comics have been used in FWS publications to help educate children about conservation. The comic strip is featured in the cartoon section of 176 newspapers across the country.
For more information, check out the comic strip here: