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Holbrook tapped as GWF head

COVINGTON -- Todd Holbrook, former deputy commissioner of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, has been named president and CEO of the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

Holbrook, a resident of Conyers, will assume his new duties with GWF on Jan. 1. He has 27 years of experience with the DNR, including stints as assistant director of the Wildlife Resources Division and chief of Game Management. Holbrook has degrees in wildlife management from the University of Georgia and Virginia Tech and was responsible for several groundbreaking studies into the decline, recruitment and retention of hunting and angling participation.

"I am proud to be joining a sportsmen's organization with three quarters of a century of conservation history," Holbrook said. "GWF will continue to be active in the defense of the public's rights to enjoy the public's fish and wildlife and to maintain these resources in abundance."

Holbrook is known for his practical knowledge and policy expertise, using social sciences in the application of wildlife management techniques, according to the GWF. After studying the influences of hunter satisfaction levels and deer management objectives, the state focused on offering diverse hunting opportunities and encouraging antlerless harvest, increasing hunter participation throughout the state.

Through the end of the year, Holbrook and GWF President and CEO Jerry McCollum will be working with staff on a transition plan.

"I am delighted with the choice our board made for my replacement," said McCollum. "Todd and I have worked together for a long time and I look forward to continuing to work with him in my retirement."

Holbrook also played a lead role in the development of a comprehensive statewide deer management plan. Instead of a patchwork of reactive local and county ordinances, under Holbrook's leadership a scientifically driven statewide management plan was enacted which maintained the quality of Georgia's world-class deer population and the quality of hunting opportunities while keeping the population in balance with the habitat.

Holbrook was also a leader in the development of the youth education programs within the Wildlife Resources Division of DNR. These programs represent a significant overlap with the nationally-recognized education programs of GWF and were clear recruiting objectives of the GWF board.

"Todd Holbrook is going to do an absolutely great job as the Georgia Wildlife Federation's next CEO," said board Chairman Matt Nichols. "His education, experience and leadership ability alone qualify him for the position, but his great reputation, his passion for wildlife and habitat conservation and his energy and enthusiasm are what carried the day for our board of directors. Todd is a great person, and we look forward to working with him to ensure a bright future for the Georgia Wildlife Federation and for Georgia wildlife."