Nevada state wildlife director Wasley retiring next month

Nevada Department of Wildlife
Nevada Department of Wildlife(NDOW)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:07 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley said Tuesday he plans to retire next month after nearly 10 years as the head of the state agency where he began his career as a habitat biologist a quarter century ago.

Wasley thanked NDOW employees for their commitment to conservation in a statement announcing his departure.

“The incredible purpose, passion and professionalism of the employees of NDOW has made this job and my entire career here immensely fulfilling,” he said.

Wasley was appointed NDOW director in 2013 by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. He was reappointed in 2018 by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who will be leaving office in January after losing his bid for re-election this month to Republican Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo.

The agency said in a statement announcing Wasley’s retirement that an acting or interim director likely would be named “to ensure a smooth transition as the agency works with the Governor’s office in developing a longer-term strategy in seeking a permanent replacement.”

Wasley oversaw post-fire rehabilitation of more than 500,000 acres of wildlife habitat over the past five years helped guide key acquisitions of new habitat.

He began his professional career in 1997 as a habitat biologist in NDOW’s Habitat Division and later served as as president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and chairman of the North American Wetland Conservation Council.

David McNinch, the longest serving member of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners, praised Wasley’s efforts the past decade to build partnerships to better position the agency to “understand and adapt to the impacts of continuously evolving social norms and expectations.”

“But the thing I appreciate most,” McNinch said, “is that conservation is deeply personal to him.”