Montana’s director of Fish, Wildlife & Parks is moving up to take similar reins at the federal level.
On Wednesday, shortly after Joe Biden was inaugurated as President of the United States, the Department of the Interior announced that Martha Williams would be the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Williams was one of 21 Americans assigned to leadership roles in the Department of the Interior on Wednesday.
“With today’s announcement, President Biden is delivering on his commitment to build teams that exude talent and experience, and look like America,” said Jennifer Van der Heide, Biden’s Chief of Staff. “We look forward to working with the dedicated civil servants at the Department to fulfill Interior’s missions, advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and uphold the trust and treaty responsibilities to them, address the climate and nature crises, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation. We are ready to get to work on behalf of the American people.”
Williams has recently served as FWP director since 2017. During that time, she was a member of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and oversaw several advisory councils, including the Grizzly Bear Advisory Council.
Before that, she was a professor at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana, a Deputy Solicitor Parks and Wildlife at the Department of the Interior, and a FWP attorney.
According to the DOI release, the incoming DOI leadership team possesses a broad range of expertise and perspectives — representing decades of experience in federal, state, and tribal governments; academia; and non-profit and advocacy organizations. All appointees received an initial ethics training today following their swearing-in.
Gov. Greg Gianforte on Wednesday also nominated Henry Worsech to serve as the new FWP director.
According to a press release, Worsech has helped foster landowner and sportsmen relations, worked closely with department management over two administrations, and oversaw department licensing to advance FWP’s mission.
“Protecting our public lands and conserving wildlife is a shared priority of landowners, hunters, anglers, and all Montanans who cherish our outdoor heritage. It’s part of what defines our Montana way of life,” Gianforte said. “With nearly two decades of experience with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Hank understands the importance of this tradition and is committed to strengthening it.”