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CHEYENNE - This year’s inductees to Wyoming’s Outdoor Hall of Fame included a former Wyoming legislator and director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a retired Game and Fish chief game warden, a retired game warden, and one of the better known hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of the 1800s.
Public service, wildlife law enforcement and management, and a love for hunting and Wyoming’s wildlife resource are common themes for this year’s Hall of Fame class. The dinner and ceremony to honor the inductees was held Oct. 13 at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody and was sponsored by Wyoming Wildlife-The Foundation (formerly Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming).
Dave Bragonier – Serving as a Wyoming game warden for more than 30 years, the name Dave Bragonier was synonymous with wildlife law enforcement in Wyoming. Through his tenure with the Game and Fish he served as the game warden in Baggs, Kaycee, Dayton, and Riverton, and was best known for his service as the Cody game warden, where he served for more than 20 years. On his retirement from the Game and Fish he volunteered with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and later served as president of that organization, where he participated in national wildlife issues. To this day, he continues to be involved in wildlife issues frequently lecturing on conservation issues at museums, libraries, and other public forums.
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (posthumously) – Buffalo Bill’s exploits as a buffalo hunter and entertainer are well known, but his promotion of tourism and hunting in Wyoming, especially Park County, have also had their mark on Wyoming history. Cody built Pahaska Teepee just outside Yellowstone to accommodate visitors to the park. He also built the Irma Hotel and established the TE Ranch. He would guide many notable guests from Europe and America on hunting trips including his famous hunt with the Prince of Monaco, which gave rise to Camp Monaco on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. He was an ardent conservationist and in Wyoming’s territorial days supported the creation of hunting seasons for big game.
Rex Corsi – As former chief game warden with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Rex Corsi has done numerous things that have affected the direction of wildlife management and law enforcement in Wyoming. Before becoming chief game warden, Corsi served as fisheries biologist and also served as game warden in Jackson, Jeffrey City, Cody, Ten Sleep, and Worland. He served as chief game warden from 1972-1989. Under his leadership he initiated one of the first nongame wildlife programs among the states and was involved with the prevention of legislation to allow big game ranching into Wyoming. His policies were crucial to forming a solid foundation for the continuation of science-based wildlife management in Wyoming.
John Turner – John Turner, whose family has the Triangle X Ranch in the Jackson area, was elected to the Wyoming Senate, where he served for 19 years. During that time he introduced and supported many pieces of legislation to benefit Wyoming’s wildlife resource. In 1989, President George Bush named him director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he was involved with the creation of more than 50 wildlife refuges. He has also served as CEO and president of The Conservation Fund and has served on numerous boards involving wildlife conservation.
The Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant, lasting lifetime contributions towards conserving Wyoming’s outdoor heritage through volunteer service, environmental restoration, educational activities, visual and written media, the arts, and political and individual leadership.
(Contact: Roene Kruckenberg (307) 630-7687)