APPLETON - Conservationist Don Goers was honored at a meeting of Wisconsin’s DNR wildlife managers at the Paper Valley hotel in Appleton in mid-January 2009.
Goers, a resident of Shawano, was recognized with the Regional Wildlife Management Special Service Award for his dedicated work and the countless hours he has given over the past 60+ years to the stewardship of our state’s natural resources, especially wildlife and our youth.
In the presentation ceremony, Ellen Barth, a DNR area supervisor said of Goers, that “Don Goers is one of a kind.” A plaque recognizing Goers was presented to him by Kay Brockman-Mederas, a wildlife biologist in the DNR’s northeast region.
Since 1946 Don has worked to educate people around Shawano Lake and the Wolf River about the water resources and habitat associated with these waters. Scouting and a project done for his Eagle Scout Award, plus his long involvement in scouting as an adult led to receipt of scouting’s prestigious Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth.
Goers’ record of service as a conservationist yields an extremely long list of activities and committees, including being a continuing voice on behalf of protecting the Wolf River and a commitment to both conservation and kids.
Don has invested much of his time in a future generation of young conservationists by serving as a trapper, bow hunter, hunter education instructor and 4-H Project Leader. He amazes kids with turkey and deer calling at J&H Youth and Ladies Day, and at Buck Fever Night.
Getting the kids attention is what he does best…with his humor, his vast knowledge and his great skills.
Over time, Don volunteered to trap beaver from trout streams for DNR fisheries staff. He joined the Wisconsin Conservation Congress in the 1960’s and served as Executive Councilor for District 4 and was on the Legislative, Big Game, and Education and Awards Committees. He participated in the Ad Hoc Bear Committee in 1984-85 and Ad Hoc Deer Committee in 1991.
And he also participated in the “Deer 2000 and Beyond” initiative. He harvested the first turkey in the state’s first modern-day season in 1966 and also taught turkey hunter education clinics as turkeys were released in Northeast Wisconsin.
Don has volunteered countless hours to conservation. He has held positions in the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Wisconsin Buck & Bear Club, and Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. Other memberships include the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Shawano Archery Club.
In recognition of all he has done, Governor Tommy Thompson named March 5th, 2000 as “Don Goers Day” for his contributions to the people of the State of Wisconsin.
In her closing remarks at the presentation of the Special Service Award, Ellen Barth said, “Don’s willingness to serve is what makes him special. Thank you, Don, for your diligence and dedication…for all you have done and all that you continue to do.”
Photo: Kay Brockman-Mederas and Ellen Barth present Special Service Award to Don Goes. WDNR Photo