Gary Zimmer Receives Conservation Award


« Back

Zimmer Receives Prestigious Wisconsin Award

Former RGS Coordinating Biologist Gary Zimmer receives Don Rusch Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Former RGS Coordinating Biologist Gary Zimmer receives Don Rusch Award
from Jason Riddle, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Former RGS/AWS Regional Biologist Gary Zimmer has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Donald H. Rusch Memorial Award, in recognition of his strong advocacy and tireless efforts on behalf of wildlife in the state of Wisconsin. The award was presented to Gary at the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society annual meeting in Rothschild, WI on March 2, 2016. Nominees are judged based on the significance of their contribution to wildlife conservation in Wisconsin, and must be strong supporter of the role of hunting in wildlife conservation. The Wildlife Society members are mostly professional wildlife biologists. The award is named after the late Don Rusch, former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member who conducted some of the pioneering work on ruffed grouse in the upper Midwest.  Congratulations, Gary!

Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society News Release
For immediate release
March 21, 2016

Contact: Jason Riddle, Ph.D., President
Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Tel. 715-346-3224
The Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society has named Gary Zimmer, formerly of Laona, Wisconsin, as recipient of the 2015 Don Rusch Memorial Award. The annual, state-wide award recognizes significant contributions to wildlife conservation in the state of Wisconsin.

From 2000 until his retirement in 2015, Zimmer worked for the Ruffed Grouse Society, most recently as Coordinating Biologist responsible for supervising the society’s wildlife biologists nationwide. In the Western Great Lakes Region, he worked with landowners and formed partnerships with natural resource organizations, groups, and agencies to improve habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock, and other species.

Before the Ruffed Grouse Society, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 18 years as a District Biologist on the Chequamegon/Nicolet National Forest. Prior to that he began his career working on waterfowl research for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Since retiring, Zimmer has remained active in the wildlife field, continuing to serve on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, to which he was appointed in 2013. He also serves as Assistant Executive Director of the Wisconsin County Forest Association, which represents management of 2.4 million acres of public forest in 29 counties.

The award was presented on March 2 at the winter conference of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

The Wildlife Society is an international organization whose mission is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation. The Wisconsin chapter has approximately 250 members state-wide. For more information about the society, see


Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

Join & Renew

Sign Up

Corporate Sponsors