CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The deputy director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department has been named the new director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department by Gov. Dave Freudenthal.
Steve Ferrell, an avid hunter, sport shooter and angler with more than 30 years of experience in wildlife management, said he is deeply honored to be named to the position. Ferrell succeeds Terry Cleveland, who will retired on June 30 after 39 years of service with the department.
“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is recognized nationally by wildlife professionals as a leader among state fish and wildlife agencies,” Ferrell said. “I have known the Department to be staffed
by dedicated and talented people who are proud of the State of Wyoming, its natural resources and their agency. It is my intention to continue the exemplary leadership provided by outgoing Director Terry
Cleveland who has been a true giant among leaders of our profession.”
Ferrell was one of three finalists chosen by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. The other two were John Emmerich, Deputy Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Kevin Delaney, former Director of the Division of Sport Fish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and a current Account Vice President with UBS Financial Services in Fort Collins, Colo.
Gov. Dave Freudenthal said of the three candidates, Ferrell was the logical choice to lead the agency.
“I commend the Game and Fish Commission for sending me a slate of three well-qualified candidates,” he said. “Obviously, it was a difficult decision and it took longer than I had hoped for me to reach a decision. But based on both a review of the materials, the candidates’ resumes and contacts with people who have worked with them, I believe Mr. Ferrell is the logical choice to lead the commission and the agency
forward. His wildlife management experience and understanding of the challenges we face in the future make him a good fit for the agency.”
The Governor acknowledged that there may be concern about an out-of-state candidate leading the agency tasked with managing Wyoming’s treasured wildlife and fisheries.
“I am mindful that the last time I selected someone from out of state it didn’t work out too well,” Freudenthal said. “I am hoping for a better outcome this time.”
Ferrell has spent his entire career with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, an agency that employs more than 600 people and is funded at more than $85 million annually. Beginning in 1975, he has served the
department as a Wildlife Assistant, Wildlife Manager, Habitat Evaluation Specialist, Research Program Supervisor, Wildlife Regional Supervisor, Assistant Director, and Deputy Director. He earned his bachelor’s
degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona.
As deputy director since 1999, Ferrell’s primary responsibilities have included the coordination and implementation of all agency programs including: administration, wildlife management, Information and
Education, Field Operations, and Special Services.
Ferrell has also served as chief financial officer of the department, as chairman of the Game and Fish Director’s executive staff and as leader of the department’s management team. He coordinated regularly
with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, the Arizona Governor’s Office, the Arizona State Legislature, and with organized constituent groups. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership and
Ferrell is current chairman of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Wildlife Resources Policy Committee, is a member of the 2008 White House Conference on Hunting Heritage Technical Committee and a member of the National Sports Shooting Federation’s advisory committee on best practices in hunting and shooting sports recruitment and retention.
Ferrell said he has long been fascinated by Wyoming and the leadership role that the state’s Game and Fish Department plays among other state wildlife agencies across the nation.
“My wife and I have felt a long-time attraction to Wyoming, and had planned to relocate to the state in coming years,” Ferrell said. “This is a very exciting opportunity for us. I look forward to serving the state, its citizens, and the dedicated employees who work for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.”