Get Involved / Inspire a Kid / Worland teen named first Game and Fish Youth Conservationist of the Year

Worland teen named first Game and Fish Youth Conservationist of the Year

Burky is the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s first Wyoming Youth Conservationist of the Year.

WORLAND – Two events in Isabelle Burky’s life prompted her interest in the outdoors and conservation.

“When I was in sixth grade, I went to Butte, Montana, and worked on the Silver Bow River finding out how mining there affected the river,” she said.“Also, shooting my first deer with my grandfather – a little white-tailed buck. I thought it was the biggest thing I’d ever seen.”

Burky is the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s first Wyoming Youth Conservationist of the Year. The award honors a Wyoming resident 18 years old or younger who has demonstrated leadership and accomplishment in conservation, individually or part of a group. The new award is part of the Game and Fish Inspire a Kid initiative, led by Director Brian Nesvik, to connect youth and families to Wyoming’s wildlife and build the next generation of conservationists.

Burky will be presented the award during the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 20 in Cody at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

A senior at Worland High School, Burky has done a lot to fulfill her passion for conservation. She’s worked in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier national parks where she’s constructed trails, monitored wildlife, repaired historic cabins and helped control noxious weeds. Burky also has worked for national public land organizations and has helped ranchers around Worland. 

Burky said her favorite outdoor activity is hunting. As for her conservation work, she said meeting kids from all over the world through her work at national parks “has really opened up my eyes.” But those who have worked with Burky also had eye-opening experiences, seeing her drive and dedication.

“While her passion for the outdoors and conservation is evident, it is her unbridled curiosity that fuels that passion,” said Donald L. Galvin, a park ranger for the Bureau of Land Management in Billings, Montana, in his award-nomination letter about Burky. “She not only seeks to know the how of a project she is involved in, but more importantly the why,” wrote Galvin. “She is a leader both among her peers and adults. She exemplifies that through a stellar work ethic, knowledge of the outdoor world, conservation and natural resource restoration that her contemporaries turn to her for leadership.”

Burky said she’d like to pursue a college degree in wildlife biology. She also wants to continue working at national parks. Ultimately, Burky wouldn’t mind following in some of the ranchers’ footsteps she’s met in the Worland area.

“I’ve met a few neat people who are almost all self-sufficient with their ranches, and I would love to have a self-sufficient ranch of my own someday.”

Robert Gagliardi, WGFD

- WGFD -


 
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