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Saturday, October 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zinke taps Utah wildlife director to head U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo

REFUGES --  Greg Sheehan, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Service for nearly five years, has been named acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today.

 Sheehan has more than 25 years of experience with the State of Utah working in wildlife and natural resource management.

Technically he was appointed to a newly created deputy director position, according to an Interior media release. A lifelong hunter and angler, Sheehan will begin managing an agency of 9,000 people at facilities across the country in mid-June and will serve as the acting director until a director is nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate.

“We are grateful to have Greg Sheehan join our team and help lead USFWS as we advance a pro-conservation and more collaborative agenda at the Department,” Zinke said in the release.

On his appointment, Mr. Sheehan said, "I am thrilled to have an opportunity to work with Secretary Zinke and the great team at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I look forward to helping promote the fish and wildlife resources in America through collaborative partnerships with states, local government, the sportsmen's community, and others."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the 150 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System of more than 560 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. Under its Fisheries program, FWS operates 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices and 86 ecological services field stations.

Since the vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-federal lands, voluntary habitat protection and restoration programs like the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Coastal Program and other partnership programs are the primary ways the agency delivers habitat conservation on public and private lands. Key functions of the FWS include:

Prior to joining the State of Utah, Sheehan worked with the Air Force for six years as a civilian, where his focus was on correcting inefficiencies in cost and pricing between the Air Force and major Defense Department government contractors. He is a graduate of Utah State University and later earned a master's in business administration.

In addition to his Utah director role, Sheehan occupies a number of leadership roles in national organization, including:

  • Chair, Threatened & Endangered Policy Committee, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal/State Joint ESA Task Force–Washington D.C.
  • Board Member, Intermountain West Joint Venture
  • Board Member, Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports
  • Executive Committee Board Member, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Chair, Private Lands Access and Conservation Committee, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  • Chair, Lead and Fish & Wildlife Workgroup, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Chair, Budget and Finance Committee, Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Vice Chair, Angler and Boating Participation Committee, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
  • Board Member, Colorado River Fish and Wildlife Council

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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