David Wilson will retire as Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District field manager in January.
Wilson is a 30-year veteran of the district, having started as a CETA worker in his late teens. Over his tenure, Wilson has played an important role in helping to develop, grow and lead the Conservation District.
During his time as district field manager, Wilson has nurtured and expanded the conservation services in Chautauqua County to help safeguard local soil and water resources for residents and businesses, such as lending technical support for streambank erosion control, animal waste storage and projects in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed; sponsoring educational programs such as the Envirothon for students; holding erosion and sedimentation control workshops for contractors and municipal workers.
Under Wilson's leadership, in 2012 alone, the district competed for and obtained almost $1 million in state funding for water pollution abatement programs, seeding for critical erosion area stabilization and conservation stewardship initiatives. The grant represents a return to the area of $10 for every dollar invested in the district by Chautauqua County.
The district's achievements during Wilson's leadership including twice earning the highest award given to conservation districts in New York. Nathan Rudgers, former state agriculture and markets commissioner, personally presented the honor to Wilson in 1994 and then again at the 2004 Empire Farm days, noting in particular the district's record of service to the public.
In 1997, Wilson received the Distinguished Service Award from the New York State Conservation District Employees Association.
After retirement, Wilson will return to work part-time capacity as a district field technician.