CHEYENNE - Bob Oakleaf, coordinator of the Game and Fish nongame wildlife section recently retired after nearly 37 years of service with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
As nongame coordinator, Oakleaf oversaw the department’s responsibility for the more than 400 species of wildlife that are not hunted. He was instrumental in the reintroduction of peregrine falcons, and black-footed ferrets in Wyoming and has been on numerous working groups involving bald eagles, trumpeter swans and the mountain plover. In addition he coordinated sensitive species surveys on the Shoshone, Targhee and Bridger-Teton national forests and was involved in lynx management surveys and radio tracking studies in western Wyoming.
Expressing appreciation for Oakleaf’s efforts over the years, former Game and Fish director Terry Cleveland said “Bob has really been instrumental in having the Game and Fish Department accept its full statutory responsibility of providing a flexible management system for all wildlife and not just those species for which we hunt, fish, and trap.”
Echoing those comments, former wildlife assistant division chief Harry Harju said, “Peregrines are doing well in Wyoming, Bald Eagles are nesting in many locations, black-footed ferrets are back in the wild, and we know more about lynx, wolverines, trumpeter swans, and nongame birds and mammals in Wyoming than we ever have. The rest of us should be able to point to those kinds of accomplishments in our careers.”
In 1999 Oakleaf was named wildlife division Employee of the Year. He was recently honored by the Game and Fish as recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was designed to “recognize an individual who over the course of their career has demonstrated the highest level of achievement in fulfilling the Department’s mission.”
Oakleaf began his Game and Fish career as nongame biologist in Lander in 1977 and in 1986 was promoted to coordinator of the nongame section also in Lander. Prior to coming to the Game and Fish he was nongame biologist for the Nevada Fish and Game.
He is a native of Fort Collins, Colo. earning a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University and a master’s degree from the University of Nevada-Reno. He also served in the Army for two years.
He will continue to make his home in Lander on retirement.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)