Wild South’s Wildlife Ambassador, 14 year old Rachel Hopkins, led the campaign to name official state symbols – State Salamander, the Marbled Salamander, and State Frog, the Pine Barrens Tree Frog. On June 19, 2013, the bill (HB830) passed Senate vote and will be signed into law!   Rachel continues to ‘wow’ everyone she meets with her joy, her passion and her dedication to saving frogs. This is a great example of how we can ALL make a difference! Thank YOU! – for supporting this bill with phone calls, letters and praise for our state amphibians!

 To see the Bill’s progress, follow the link HERE.  

And to see Rachel’s talk at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, check out the link HERE!

Rachel video


For Immediate Release – June 27, 2013

Contacts: Benjamin Colvin: 828-258-2667 ben.colvin@wildsouth.org


Marbled Salamander, Pine Barrens Tree Frog Designated State Amphibians of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, NC—Applause went out from the mountains to the sea today in North Carolina for the passage of HB830, adopting state symbols including the official State Salamander (The Marbled Salamander) and State Frog (The Pine Barrens Tree Frog)!  At 4pm on June 26, 2013, Gov. McCrory signed into law the new state symbols, joined by Rep. Marilyn Avila (Raleigh) and Wild South’s Wildlife Ambassador, 14 year old Rachel Hopkins.

Rachel Hopkins is a passionate advocate for amphibian protection and spearheaded this bill. This year alone, she spoke to students across the state, from Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville to The NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. “Rachel is a shining example of the huge impact that our youth can have and we are a very proud state today that recognizes our unique wildlife species and habitats,” said Ben Prater, Wild South Associate Executive Director.


Rep. Marilyn Avila (Raleigh) saw Rachel’s passion and partnered with her to highlight amphibians and include them in the omnibus bill. Wild South worked across the state with the NC Herpetological Society, Save the Frogs, The NC Zoo, HERPS of NC, NCPARC, NCWRC and others to support Rachel’s efforts. This week, because of great collaboration, the State of North Carolina welcomes the newest state symbols – The Marbled Salamander and the Pine Barrens Tree Frog!

“Rachel Hopkins brilliantly understands the connections between education and advocacy and she has inspired people across the state – and beyond.  Students who mailed letters, voted online for these species and met with Rachel will be forever be able to point to this measure and know they made a lasting difference,” said Ben Colvin, Development Director of Wild South.


Wild South is a regional non-profit organization that inspires people to enjoy, value and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South. We have protected over a half million acres of public lands, thousands of miles of streams, and hundreds of cultural sites.  Whether we are leading a hike, advocating for wildlife, preserving cultural heritage or uniting voices to protect wild places and wild things, we are ensuring a future that is worthy of the rich natural and cultural history upon which it is built.


Rachel with Gov