Tennessee Environmental Council is proud to present a 2013 Sustainable Tennessee Award to Dan Eagar.  This award recognizes an individual or group who makes an outstanding and significant contribution to educating and/or advocating for the conservation and improvement of Tennessee’s environment, communities and public health.

We are recognizing Dan for over 30 years of service at Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) where Dan served as a Director for the Division of Ecological Services and for 20 years as Manager of the Natural Resources Section, Division of Water Pollution Control. 

Some highlights from Dan’s work at TDEC include:

Staff Zoologist for the Tennessee Department of Conservation’s Natural Heritage Program.

  • Gathered information on the distribution of Tennessee’s rare animal species, and on the protection of the areas of highest significance for their conservation.

Natural Resources Management Coordinator, Tennessee State Parks Division.

  • Developed management guidelines for State Parks and Natural Areas, Advised park staff on resource management issues.

Director, Division of Ecological Services, Tennessee Department of Conservation.

  • Managed a small division that included Natural Heritage Inventory (rare species and natural communities)
  • Natural Areas Program, regulation of Ginseng export, and environmental review of federally funded or permitted projects.
  • Water quality regulation – commenting on ARAP and 404 Public Notices. Major effort/achievement in this role and the next was helping (along with several others like Chester McConnell) to bring an end to large-scale, government-sponsored stream channelization.

As Manager of the Natural Resources Section, Division of Water Pollution Control.

  • Managed the Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit program.
  • Worked on development of related rules for program implementation.

Throughout his career, Dan has endeavored to inform his decisions with science and facts, and to approach his work with honesty and integrity.  This led to him occasionally disagreeing with his employer, sometimes publicly but respectfully.  He believed he should always be willing to resign if those disagreements were significant enough or frequent enough, and is grateful that he was not confronted with that circumstance.

Dan is currently Program Manager of the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program.  He has a BS in Zoology form UT Knoxville, and a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from UT Knoxville – He studied black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for his thesis.  His first job was with Tennessee Game and Fish Commission (now TWRA), he also worked for the National Park Service.

Dan’s community service includes: Past President of the Tennessee Chapter of The Wildlife Society; Past Science advisory board member  – Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; Past Board Member of the Natural Resources Conservation Societies of Tennessee; Past Board and Executive Committee Member for Tennessee Environmental Council; Past Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 221; and Board Member – Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association.

As Dan says, he “was born a biologist. From the time [he] could walk, [he] marveled at and caught snakes, turtles, and any other critters that would stand still long enough. Somehow, [he] has been lucky enough to make a career out of that interest in nature.”