Sheridan Region Wildlife Management Coordinator Dan Thiele retired from the Game and Fish Department on Nov. 17 after 38 years of service to Wyoming’s wildlife resource.
Thiele grew up on his family’s farm/ranch operation in northeast Nebraska. He earned a degree in natural resource management, with an emphasis in wildlife management, from the University of Nebraska in December 1982.
He started his career with Wyoming Game and Fish the year prior, working as a seasonal employee in Yoder. In this position, he worked at regional wildlife habitat areas doing a variety of habitat treatment and maintenance as well as wildlife survey work. He continued this job in 1982 and then worked at the Gros Ventre elk feedground near Jackson in the winter of 1983-84 and as a bird farm biologist at the Downar Bird Farm in Yoder beginning in 1984.
In 1989, he was hired as a wildlife biologist in Cheyenne. He transferred to Casper in 1990 and to Buffalo in 1993 where he spent the next 24 years as a district wildlife biologist.
In 2017, Thiele was promoted to the Sheridan Wildlife Management Coordinator position, overseeing terrestrial wildlife management in much of northeast Wyoming. His job duties included supervising five regional employees, overseeing annual wildlife survey and management work, coordinating wildlife capture and research projects, developing local hunting seasons and regulations and coordinating with the public and a variety of governmental and nonprofit organizations to achieve wildlife conservation goals in the region.
“Dan has received numerous accolades for his work from constituents and from his peers,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Division Chief Rick King. “He is well known and respected for his ability to engage with diverse stakeholder interests on controversial wildlife management issues.”
Thiele is the recipient of the 2004 Sheridan Region Peer Recognition Award and the 2016 Wyoming Game Wardens Association Support Person of the Year Award. He has been involved in multiple working groups and served the past two years as a co-chair of the Department’s internal Mule Deer Working Group. He has also served on the Northeast Wyoming Sage Grouse Local Working Group since 2003.
“With a 38-year career, it is clear that Dan truly did make Wyoming’s wildlife his life’s work,” said Sheridan Region Wildlife Supervisor Craig Smith. “His work on behalf of our wildlife and the public he has served is a testament to his dedication and passion as a wildlife manager. Dan will certainly be missed, but his work will have a lasting impact in northeast Wyoming.”
Thiele and his family will continue to reside in Buffalo where he plans to spend more time hunting, horseback riding and skiing. He also plans to make frequent trips to Nebraska to assist with his family’s agricultural operation.