SEAFWA directors honored and celebrated the commitment, dedication, and leadership, of Rusty Garrison as he retired from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (GDNR) after 39 years of professional experience serving the public in the field of fish and wildlife conservation.
Rusty held positions Director of Wildlife Resources Division, Assistant Chief of Game Management with (GDNR), Program Manager at Charlies Elliott Wildlife Center (GDNR), Project Wild Coordinator for the State of Georgia, and Chief of the Georgia Mountain Search and Rescue Team. Rusty’s early career included the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service as County Agent, Rock Eagle 4-H center as Environmental Education Program Coordinator, Wahesga 4-H Center and raise the funds to develop the Charles Elliot Wildlife Center. Rusty, a native of Hall County in Gainesville Georgia, is a graduate of The University of Georgia, a public research university in Athens, Georgia that was founded in 1785, one of three universities that claims to be the oldest public university in the United States, where he earned a BS in Animal Science and an MS with major in wildlife biology.
Rusty served as the Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer of SEAFWA; President and Vice-President of the SEAFWA Foundation, Chairman SEAFWA Resolutions Committee; Chairman of Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Awards and Annual Conference Committee; Chairman AFWA Project WILD Subcommittee; member Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Steering Committee; Northern Bobwhite Quail Initiative Steering Committee; and the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Steering Committee.
Rusty has also received a number of national and state awards and honors including Associate Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society; Outstanding 4-H Volunteer Leader Program, Columbia County, 1985, GAE4-HA; Outstanding New Agent Award, 1985, GAE4-HA; Georgia Project WILD Facilitator of the Year, 1989; Achievement in Service Award, 1990, GAE4-HA; 1997 National Wild Turkey Federation Educator of the Year; Garden Club of Georgia Certificate of Merit, 1999; Project WILD Coordinator of the Year, 2000; 2016 Georgia Department of Natural Resources Search and Rescue Team Career Achievement Award.