Dave Donaldson wore many hats for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. After earning a Wildlife Biology degree from Texas A&M University, he went to work for the agency, ultimately serving as the state's waterfowl coordinator. He also was instrumental as an engineer, leading the design and implementation for many of the agency's Greentree Reservoirs (GTRs) located in east and northeast Arkansas.
These GTRs include his namesake, Black River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), as well as Big Lake WMA and Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA. Donaldson's work on the Black River WMA was considered cutting edge at the time as the design and implementation of inverted siphons created a gravity flow system that allows flooding of about 5,000 acres.
In addition to his work as biologist and engineer, Mr. Donaldson was also a pilot and conducted the first aerial surveys for waterfowl in Arkansas. These surveys provided the agency with a better understanding of waterfowl movements and patterns as well as identifying species and estimating their numbers. His aerial efforts also played a major role with the AGFC's Canada Goose restoration efforts in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
He was named Conservationist of the Year by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in 1975 for his extensive work in Arkansas and Canada on behalf of migrating waterfowl and their habitats.
Donaldson retired in 1977 after serving as the AGFC's waterfowl biologist for over 30 years.