Living in the least densely populated state in the Lower 48, we here in Wyoming have a different perspective compared to other parts of the country. With just six people per square mile, it is easy to appreciate everything nature and the outdoors offer.
Even with the sweeping views of Yellowstone Country, seemingly unlimited trails and trout streams, ability to get away from technology and never ending experiential leisure opportunities, it is tempting to think our resources are inexhaustible.
That is hardly the case. As the state with the country’s first national park, first national forest and first national monument, Wyoming has a long history of conservation and of forward-thinking individuals who have worked to keep the state in good condition for generations to come.
We take things so seriously that we have the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame (WYOHOF) which is operated by Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation (now a component fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation). According to its web site, this is “a charitable, non-advocacy organization dedicated to conservation education and the funding and management of projects that benefit Wyoming wildlife. Since the year 2000, we have developed many trusted partnerships that create the opportunity for you to contribute and bring projects to life. Your contributions will improve Wyoming’s greatest resource – its fish and wildlife – for the benefit of our kids and grandkids.”
This year’s inductees will be honored this weekend at our own Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The honorees, as described by Wyoming Wildlife — The Foundation, are:
Cody’s own David Sweet. Dave has been an active member of Trout Unlimited (TU) for nearly 40 years and has served in virtually every leadership position in the TU East Yellowstone Chapter, was chairman of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited and currently serves as treasurer of that organization. He is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Ducks Unlimited. In 2007 Dave conceived, implemented and championed the extraordinary collaborative Save the Yellowstone Cutthroat Project. He now serves as the Yellowstone Lake Special Project Manager. This ongoing project has earned national attention and is now listed as a number two priority national project by Trout Unlimited.
Abraham Archibald “A.A.” Anderson, posthumously. An artist, rancher and philanthropist who was born in 1847 and died in 1940, Anderson established a homestead on the Greybull River south of Cody. He named this 160 acre plot Palette Ranch and built a log and gypsum-mortar ranch house there. Within a few years he became frustrated by wildfires in the area which he believed were deliberately caused by out-of-state sheep men who grazed their sheep across cleared forest land. He made it his personal campaign to double the size of the Yellowstone Forest Reserve bordering Yellowstone National Park. This dream became a reality by executive order of Theodore Roosevelt in May, 1902. Roosevelt then appointed Anderson as Special Superintendent to administer both the Yellowstone and Teton Forest Reserves. He served in this capacity until 1905. He established ranks for his men similar to the military and accepted an appointment as a Game Warden of Wyoming. He named his entire staff Assistant Game Wardens, without pay to give them authority to eject poachers. At the end of his tenure, President Roosevelt reorganized the forest reserve lands surrounding the Park and established the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture.
David C. Lockman. During his tenure as a Game and Fish wildlife biologist, Dave made significant contributions to Wyoming’s wildlife, whether it was testing new data collection techniques for big game or improved management techniques for managing waterfowl. Dave was single-handedly responsible for restoring and expanding trumpeter swan populations in Wyoming. While education supervisor with the Game and Fish Department, Dave prepared and supervised the implementation and management of more than 20 cooperative agreements with Wyoming communities, supervised the development of the Outdoor Recreation Education Opportunities program for Wyoming schools and coordinated the planning and development of more than 50 interpretive education projects, including the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois, Wyoming and wildlife viewing sites across the state as part of the “Wyoming’s Wildlife-Worth the Watching” program. He developed and coordinated all facets toward the planning and execution of the first Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Exposition hosted by the department.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – in big part because of people like this year’s WYOHOF inductees – in Cody, Wyo.