Johnston County native David K. Whitehurst has received the Seth Gordon Award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He is director of the Bureau of Wildlife Resources, a division of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Established in 1970, the award recognizes the lifetime achievements of natural-resource administrators who have worked steadfastly and effectively toward the “best use” of North American natural resources, and to honor an individual for his/her outstanding career in fish and wildlife conservation.
“It’s a great honor for the department to see David recognized by the country’s leading wildlife professionals for his years of hard work and his passion for protecting and conserving Virginia’s rich wildlife and natural resources,” said Bob Duncan, executive director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. “David’s contributions to fish and wildlife management have made a huge impact on the lives of everyone who cherishes the outdoors and on the thousands of species of animals that thrive in the Commonwealth.”
Whitehurst received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from N.C. State University. During his 38-year career at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, he has been instrumental in bringing science-based management to the Commonwealth’s fisheries and wildlife-conservation programs.
His numerous conservation achievements include restoring and enhancing the striped bass programs at Kerr Reservoir and Smith Mountain Lake, which provide public fishing opportunities; driving the acquisition of the department’s Stewarts Creek Wildlife Management Area; and establishing the 845-acre Briery Creek Lake, a premier largemouth bass fishery
Whitehurst has received a number of awards and honors, including the River Conservationist of the Year award from the Virginia Wildlife Federation. In 1993, Trout Unlimited named him Conservationist of the Year.