Thomas Ryder

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023

Thomas Ryder of Lander is a retired Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist who served the State of Wyoming for 29 years. Ryder is an alumnus of the University of Wyoming, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Ryder began his career with Game and Fish in 1985 and climbed the ranks from volunteer game warden to deputy chief of wildlife. During his career, he made significant contributions to the way in which wildlife was managed in Wyoming. While in Dubois, Ryder conducted a study of elk movements — the data collected from his efforts is still being used today to drive elk management in the area. He also played a large role in the annual bighorn sheep trapping and transplanting program at the Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Management Area, and served as the chairman of the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Technical Committee. Through his supervision existing sheep populations in the area were enhanced and lost populations were reestablished in other areas of the state. Before retiring from state service, he was chosen by former Gov. Matt Mead to serve as his wildlife policy advisor. After retiring, he went on to work for the Sweetwater River Conservancy to develop their sage- grouse conservation and mitigation banking agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. During his career, Ryder served 6 years on the governing council of the Wildlife Society and ultimately served as The Society’s 65th president in 2011. He is also a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club. He formally retired from the State of Wyoming in 2017. Ryder has written approximately 190 technical reports, 20 peer-reviewed publications, five book chapters and two books.

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