The department has five divisions and around 1,600 employees spread across the state managing roughly 1 million acres of public lands in the form of state parks, fishing areas, wildlife management areas and other nature preserves. Also under the DNR umbrella is the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, which ensures the state and its businesses comply with both federal and state standards on water quality, air quality, hazardous waste handling and more.
In an emotional farewell, Williams — who lives near the coast in Jesup — thanked DNR employees and said his decision to leave was driven by a desire to spend more time with family.
“A lot of factors weighed into my decision,” he said. “I love DNR with all my soul, but I love my family more.”
Gov. Brian Kemp will be tasked with appointing Williams’ successor, but it was not immediately clear who the governor’s top choices are or when he’d select a replacement.