The longest-tenured Director in the history of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Steve N. Wilson’s influence and leadership laid the groundwork for so many of the agency’s numerous renowned programs and facilities. Credited as the founder of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, Steve recognized the need for non-profit support and helped grow the Foundation into an integral arm of the agency, providing financial support for properties and facilities for conservation education programs. His proudest achievement as director was the 1996 passage of Amendment 75, which collected one-eighth-cent general sales tax to be used in perpetuity for conservation efforts in Arkansas. The amendment’s passage paved the way for the AGFC to be a leader in conservation and conservation education throughout the country. In addition to increased lands for public use, the agency has been able to increase the number of wildlife officers in every county of the state, as well as expand outdoor education through five nature centers, four conservation education centers and many statewide programs such as the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program, the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program and the Fishing in The Natural State Program. Steve passed away in February 2021 and will forever be remembered as a true champion of conservation for Arkansas and beyond.
The Steve N. Wilson Endowment Fund was created in 2021 by Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation President Emeritus Witt Stephens, a longtime friend and colleague of Steve’s. The Endowment will serve as a custom funding mechanism helping the Foundation continue in its mission of supporting the needs of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
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