CHEYENNE - Tom Ryder, assistant wildlife chief over biological operations has retired after more than 30 years of service with the Game and Fish Department.
Ryder, began his Game and Fish career as a special projects biologist in Lander in June 1983. After several years of temporary jobs and numerous moves, he was promoted to be the Newcastle wildlife biologist in June 1986. He transferred to the North Lander Biologist District in June 1988 and then to the South Lander District in January 1996. Ryder was promoted to wildlife management coordinator supervising the Lander region’s terrestrial wildlife programs in July 2004.
In addition to Game and Fish service, Ryder has been very active in The Wildlife Society for 30 years and was installed as the organization’s president in October 2011. He received the society’s Jim McDonough Award in 2000 for “Outstanding Contributions to Wildlife Management.”
"Many of our most significant wildlife management accomplishments over the past couple of decades were consequential to Tom's leadership," said chief game warden Brian Nesvik.
"Tom's expert knowledge of the wildlife resource, his passion for our state and his impeccable character made him one of our most trusted and relied upon "go to guys" in the agency,” Nesvik said. “He will certainly be missed and I know Tom can move into retirement content in knowing he left a mark on our agency, Wyoming's wildlife resource and the people of our state."
Ryder was raised in Dubuque, Iowa graduating from Wahlert High School in 1974. He attended Loras College in Dubuque before earning a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management with honors from the University of Wyoming. In 1983, he earned a master’s degree from UW researching Pronghorn Winter Habitat Selectionin the Red Rim Area of South-Central Wyoming. In Laramie, he also assisted with zoology research, instructed biology classes and helped with the zoology museum and laboratory maintenance.
He and his wife Lisa have two grown sons, Colin and Sean. In his spare time, Ryder enjoys Wyoming history, hunting, and fishing.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)