U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program

Service Mourns Loss of David Goad: A Pioneer of Conservation, Dedicated Family Man and Friend

David GoadThe Service mourns the loss of David Goad, Deputy Assistant Director of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.  David was a man of goodwill and a positive spirit.  While his time here at the Service was only a short four months, his upbeat attitude, energetic spirit, funny jokes, and loving soul were felt by all.  David appreciated the value of family, friends and his work in conservation.   But unfortunately on Friday, October 31, shortly before noon in his native Faulkner County, Arkansas, the loving father, husband, colleague and friend lost his life in a one vehicle accident.

David will truly be missed – but his work through the years – will forever impact wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.

David had 25 years of experience in building and leading conservation and management programs for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  He began his career as a field biologist and progressed through multiple levels to the number two position within the agency, managing biological, social, and political aspects of conservation for the people of Arkansas. 

As a wildlife biologist, David supervised wildlife management areas and staff, and worked across state lines to establish and lead the Black Bear Technical Committee for the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.  He played important roles in modernizing the Commission:  replacing paper licensing and survey records with electronic records; convincing the Arkansas public to pass a conservation sales tax initiative to increase annual revenue by $30 million; developing the agency’s strategic plan; and generally moving the Commission from a “hook and bullet” agency to a conservation agency. 

While Deputy Director of the Commission, David oversaw fisheries, wildlife, education, and support functions of the agency.  He led the charge to establish both the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports and the state’s National Archery in the Schools Programs; today these programs are the largest of their kind in the United States.  He worked with political and conservation leaders to promote the Conservation & Reinvestment Act (CARA), resulting in establishment of the State Wildlife Grants program.  

David received a degree in Biology and Fish & Wildlife Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice, from the University of Arkansas.  He was also an alumnus of the inaugural class of the prestigious National Conservation Leadership Institute. 

David’s hard work had a tremendous impact on WSFR program initiatives and nationwide planning and development.  We are grateful to have had him in our working family. 

David is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Wendy Barnes Goad; two daughters, Megan Goad and Mattie Goad; and one son, Ethan Goad.

Obituary of Charles David Goad