Message from President Eric Maichak
It’s dawn and the winter landscape is a sea of white after the storm, a blank page for the day’s events. A lone elk forages quietly along a ridge top blown free of snow. The ridge forms a boundary between the competing interests of two packs of hungry mouths. Unknown to both packs, each are stalking the same elk. A chase ensues; the elk races for high ground and the two packs suddenly realize the presence of one another. Equally matched in numbers and territoriality, hunt is abandoned for squabbling and defensive posturing. The elk takes one last peek from over the top of the hill and rejoins the herd just over the rise, as the packs engage in battle. When resources appear to be limited, competition is the norm. However, the things we need are often not as scarce as perceived. For those who are willing to forsake ego and collaborate, the rewards are often much greater.
WYTWS continues to collaborate within and outside our chapter to define and achieve goals. At our recent conference in Sheridan, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation contributed assistance and major financial support to help us provide three days of exciting events, including a unique after-hours panel discussion on how we value wildlife, and a workshop on demystifying policy. This partnership will likely continue in 2020 as our Science and Legislative Affairs committees are currently being solicited by WWF for assistance with upcoming projects, including technical advice on migration designation and the Camo at the Capital legislative event. New Board Members At-Large Anna Chalfoun, Jerod Merkle, and Leah Yandow from the University of Wyoming and BLM, respectively, bring fresh ideas and potential for new directions. Furthermore, committees received a boost in creativity from our conference as nearly two dozen members stepped up and joined new leadership provided by Rhiannon Jakopak (Legislative Affairs), Ashleigh Rhea (Communications), and Sara Locker (Student Chapter). On the horizon, President-elect Tayler LaSharr continues to coordinate and plan with our board and CMPS as we prepare to host the section conference in Lander, tentatively scheduled November 17-19, 2020. Input from all of you on workshop themes as well as auction items will help make the next conference another great experience.
In the spirit of collaboration, I encourage you, the membership, to engage our board, committee chairs, liaisons, and other members. For those who wish to see positive change, bring us your support and ideas that challenge the norm. It takes all of us to keep this going, even if we are from different packs.