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Pinedale Online > News > July 2012 > Smith honored as Employee of the Year

Scott Smith - Brucellosis testing. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD .
Scott Smith - Brucellosis testing
Pinedale Wildlife Management Coordinator, Scott Smith, draws blood from a cow elk for brucellosis testing at the Muddy Creek elk feedground. Photo by Mark Gocke, WGFD

Scott Smith award. Photo by Tara Teaschner, WGFD.
Scott Smith award
Scott Smith receiving his award at the recent G&F Commission meeting in Lander. (Pictured L to R: Tom Ryder, Asst. Wildlife Div. Chief; Scott Edberg, Assistant Wildlife Division Chief; Brian Nesvik, Wildlife Division Chief; Scott Smith, Pinedale Wildlife Management Coordiantor; Aaron Clark, President, WY G&F Commission; Scott Talbott, Director, WY G&F Dept.) Photo by Tara Teaschner, WGFD
Smith honored as Employee of the Year
by Wyoming Game and Fish
July 23, 2012

Scott Smith, Pinedale wildlife management coordinator for Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has been recognized as the Wildlife Divisionís employee of the year. Smith was recently honored at the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting Lander.

Smith began his Game and Fish career in 1984 as a seasonal employee working on the stateís Wildlife Habitat Management Areas. His full-time service began as a Biologist Technician in Cheyenne. He also served as a Wildlife Biologist in Cheyenne, Jackson, and Pinedale before being promoted to his current position in 2002.

"I am proud to see Scott honored with this award," said Wildlife Division Chief, Brian Nesvik. "Scott has a large and diverse workload, which he tackles with great pride, enthusiasm, and professionalism."

Smith has many significant accomplishments over his career, including a lead role in the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative this past year. This highly interactive public process was aimed at restoring and protecting Wyomingís prized Wyoming Range mule deer herd. "Scott brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to this process, resulting in a sound management plan that the public has enthusiastically supported," said Nesvik.

In the spring of 2011, construction began on a series of wildlife overpasses and underpasses along Highway 191 west of Pinedale. This project will greatly reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions as thousands of deer and antelope make their seasonal migrations between summer and winter ranges. Scott played an integral role in the planning of this landmark project and has worked tirelessly with Wyoming Department of Transportation personnel to quickly address a variety of unforeseen issues that have arisen during the construction phase.

Smith provided a leadership role in the design and implementation of a moose research study in the upper Hoback basin, where a significant natural gas development has been proposed. During the past two winters, 60 moose were captured via helicopter net-gunning and fitted with GPS collars to provide baseline information on moose movements throughout the year, calf recruitment and survival, and habitat selection prior to any gas development.

Scott also spent a significant amount of time and energy working with other agencies, energy companies, and the public to address various issues related to the extensive oil and gas development in the Pinedale area. In response to declining deer numbers, Scott and his work unit are developing a 10-year habitat plan for the Sublette mule deer herd, which will address mitigation of habit loss and fragmentation caused by development, human encroachment, declining shrub production, and other factors on critical big game ranges.

Smith has continually proven he is willing and able to take on new or additional responsibilities when needed. As a result of department restructuring efforts, Scott has been asked to expand his supervisory role to include additional habitat and wildlife biologists. He has accepted this role with both confidence and enthusiasm. Scott also served as a mentor to several fellow employees through the departmentís Leadership Development Program and continues to informally mentor many others who rely on his experience and perspective on a wide variety of management issues.

"Scott is well respected by both the public and his peers for his impeccable integrity, professionalism, and dedication to the wildlife resource," said Nesvik. "It is often said that one of the departmentís greatest strengths is its employees and Scott Smith is a shining example of that."

Smith is an Ontario, Ohio native. He attended the University of Wyoming where he earned a bachelorís degree in range management and a masterís degree in wildlife management. Scott currently lives in Pinedale with his wife Judy, where they enjoy golf and a wide variety of outdoor pursuits.

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