CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Game Wardens Association is a non-profit organization and its members include current game wardens and those who have retired.
The organization has been around since 1973 and is not officially linked to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Each year the Association recognizes a law enforcement officer, a biologist and a support person. For 2016 the Wyoming Game Wardens Association recognized Dustin Shorma, Greg Hiatt and Rene Schell.
Shorma, the Dayton Game Warden, was awarded the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He has been with the Game and Fish Department since 1999 and has been serving in Sheridan County since 2011.
Hiatt, based out of Sinclair, is Biologist of the Year. He has been a wildlife biologist in Carbon County for nearly 40 years. Rene Schell, information and education specialist for the Lander region, is the Support Person of the Year. She is involved in recruiting new hunters and anglers, promoting conservation with education programs and media relations in that region.
Shorma’s nomination recognized many of his contributions to wildlife management and his abilities with law enforcement.
“Dustin is a dedicated, tenacious law enforcement investigator and has a reputation for identifying suspects and making cases that are complex and involve multiple suspects in multiple states,” his nomination stated.
It also pointed out that within the past three years Shorma has documented over 11 cases of taking big game during a closed season, 18 cases involving wanton destruction violations and 24 cases involving the intentional taking of antlered big game. Shorma was also applauded for his work with the public and on wildlife management.
Hiatt is called a walking encyclopedia by many of his colleagues for his knowledge and ability to remember information. “Be assured the wildlife resource under Greg’s care has greatly benefited from his influence, knowledge, expertise and historical perspective many of us simply don’t have,” his nomination stated.
Hiatt was also congratulated for his role in augmenting the Ferris/Seminoe bighorn sheep herd with 123 sheep since 2009, helping make appropriate decisions related to a recent sage grouse capture and relocation project and his overall ability to relate to the public and help game wardens along during their careers.
The Lander region has benefited greatly from Schell’s work with the public, her nomination states, “Rene does a great job of bridging the gap between the region’s communities and department personnel and is quick to include the game wardens in all of her ventures. She is cognizant of the role game wardens have in each of our districts and understands the complexities and array of our many duties.”
Additionally Schell was recognized for her work with recruiting new hunters by leading the Forever Wild Families program in Lander, promoting game wardens work and improving their relationships with the public and for facilitating challenging discussions.
The Game Wardens Association has 185 members and associate members.
It also provides financial assistance to programs designed to enhance outdoor awareness to school-aged children, research to improve wildlife law enforcement, handicapped hunter assistance, scholarship programs and memorial funds.