Retired WRD Director Dan Forster Honored with Seth Gordon Award

Social Circle, GA
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 12:30



Dan Forster, recently retired Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), was recognized with the Seth Gordon Award, the highest honor given by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). This award recognizes the lifetime achievements of natural resource administrators who have worked steadfastly and effectively for the best use of North American natural resources and the public trust therein. 

AFWA represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. 

“Dan Forster has had a remarkable career in wildlife management and is most-deserving of this award,” said Mark Williams, DNR Commissioner. “His passion for wildlife and wildlife management, his willingness to be a leader of numerous committees, and his commitment to conserving natural resources held in the public trust all contribute to him being the best choice for such an honor. I am so grateful to have been able to work with him in the conservation of wildlife here in Georgia.” 

In addition to being WRD Director, Dan served on multiple wildlife-related committees, such as the few listed below: 

  • AFWA President (2013-2014)
  • Chair and Vice President of the Associations Executive Committee (2012-2013)
  • President Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies-SEAFWA (2008-2009)
  • Convened a President’s Task Force on Committee Structure and Function
  • Vice Chair of the Executive Committee (2011-2012)
  • Vice Chair- AFWA Agricultural Conservation Committee
  • Chair- AFWA National Grants Committee
  • Member- AFWA Legislative Committee
  • Chair of SEAFWA Directors’ hunting, Fishing & Shooting Sports Participation Committee
  • Board of Directors Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
  • Atlantic Flyway Council representative on the North American Wetlands Conservation Council
  • Forest Resources Coordinating Committee
  • Joint Federal-State Task Force on Federal Assistance Policy (since 2013)
  • Board of Directors of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
  • Helped stand up the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources
  • Serves on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Region 4 Regional Review Team

Dan Forster, employed with WRD since 1990, officially retires on Oct. 1, with a new career beginning as Director of Government Relations with the Archery Trade Association. He and his wife, Jennifer, and their two children live in Social Circle. 

For more information about AFWA, visit


Editor’s Note Re: Photo: Georgia DNR staff celebrate the AFWA award presented retired DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster Tuesday. Pictured, from left, are Wildlife Resources Nongame Conservation Section Chief Dr. Jon Ambrose, DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, Nongame Conservation Assistant Chief Mary Pfaffko, Dan Forster, Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison, DNR Deputy Commissioner Walter Rabon, Wildlife Resources Fisheries Management Section Chief John Biagi and Game Management Section Chief John Bowers.