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Three candidates named for Director of Game and Fish Department

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department logo
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

This story is part of our Quick Hits series. This series will bring you breaking news and short updates from throughout the state.

Soon we will know who will lead the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) into the future.

This week, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission announced three finalists to replace current Director Brian Nesvik, who’s retiring in September. All finalists are longtime employees with WGFD.

They include:

  • Angie Bruce, who’s the Deputy Director of External Affairs. Bruce is often called on to explain the department’s work with stakeholders on wildlife issues and field data. A big topic for her is sage grouse management. Last summer in Sublette County, she helped present Wyoming’s updated management plan, which was later submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM recently released a draft plan that incorporates parts of Wyoming’s suggestions. 
  • Rick King, who serves as the Chief of Wildlife for the state since 2019. King has overseen some heavy issues in his tenure. Like, the aftermath of the 2023 winter. It decimated mule deer, including the prized Wyoming Range herd, causing WGFD to offer about 4,000 less mule deer tags for the 2023 hunting season. 
  • Craig Smith, who is the Deputy Chief of Wildlife, serving directly under King. Smith also helps with similar wildlife management issues. Prior, he was the wildlife supervisor in Sheridan.

The Commission handed over their list of candidates to Gov. Mark Gordon. He will make the final decision before Nesvik’s retirement.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.

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