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CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has been recognized as the best in the west. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies named the Commission the Commission/Board of the Year for 2020. WAFWA represents 24 states and Canadian provinces. 


This is the second time the Commission won this award; the first was in 2014. The WAFWA Awards and Recognition Committee, which consists of state directors, selects the winners each year.


The Commission serves as the policy making board of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The governor appoints members to the seven-member board for six-year terms with senate confirmation. No more than five commissioners can be of the same political party.


“This is more of a team award than a Commission award,” Commission President Peter Dube of Buffalo said. “It is an overall excellence of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. It is wonderful and great to be acknowledged by those organizations.”


The nomination letter to the WAFWA was written by Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik. He highlighted the Commission’s work with migration corridors, wildlife crossings, big game research, chronic wasting disease, habitat projects, grizzly bear management, hunting and fishing access, outreach and educational opportunities, the establishment of the non-profit WYldlife Fund, public engagement and strategic planning.


“The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is a group of seven volunteers who care deeply for wildlife conservation,” Nesvik said. “The Commission’s dedication to the people of Wyoming is apparent through their decision-making process, rigorous scrutiny and evaluation of the department’s work and efforts to build the next generation of conservationists. These, and many other notable achievements, are what makes our commission deserving of this recognition.”  


Dube was elected president of the Commission in March, and Pat Crank of Cheyenne was elected as vice president. Other Commission members include: David Rael of Cowley, Mike Schmid of LaBarge, Gay Lynn Byrd of Douglas, Ralph Brokaw of Arlington and Richard Ladwig of Manville.


“We kind of view ourselves as a can-do Commission,” Dube said. “We’re chomping at the bit and want to get things done. It shows what other states and organizations think about Wyoming’s department and the role it plays with wildlife. It’s a pretty great honor.”

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