HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte announced his nomination of Henry “Hank” Worsech to lead the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) on Wednesday.
“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,” Governor 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.”
A public servant for nearly three decades, Worsech most recently served as a license bureau chief for the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Over his 17 years with the department, Worsech helped foster landowner and sportsmen relations, worked closely with department management over two administrations, and oversaw department licensing to advance FWP’s mission.
“It’s a true honor to be selected as the Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, and I look forward to working alongside the great employees once again. I am excited to work with such a proven leader as Governor Gianforte and his team to provide improved citizen services, expand access opportunities, and build strong landowner-sportsmen relationships. We’ll deliver on the governor’s call to reach our full potential by providing the citizens of Montana unsurpassed outdoor experiences,” said Hank Worsech, Gianforte’s nominee to lead the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
A Marine Corps veteran, Worsech settled in Montana over 30 years ago after being discharged from his duties as an administrative and legal chief for the service.
Gianforte’s appointment of Worsech received widespread support among stakeholders.
Rob Arnaud, president of the Montana Hunting Company: “I have known Hank for many years and have always been impressed with his ability to think beyond the obvious. He is quick-on-his-feet and easy to like. He has the ability to reason with anyone. These are talents of true leaders. I truly believe Hank can make the necessary decisions to usher FWP into a new era.”
Ed Beall, owner of Capital Sports & Western; bowhunter ed instructor: “I am excited to know that Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks will be led by a person with a very broad understanding of the many challenges we face with our incredible wildlife, habitats and relationships. Importantly, Hank Worsech has shown the fortitude to gather the information and the partners together to bring positive results. I have worked with Hank on licensing, funding, legislative, hunter access and landowner relations and I can tell you he is very dedicated to our wildlife and the people of our great state who cherish our hunting, fishing, working lands and conservation heritage. He knows the mission, the history and the people. I know Hank will listen to all his customers and do his best on our behalf.”
Matt Lumley, vice president of the National Trappers Association: “I’m very excited about the appointment of Hank Worsech as the director of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Hank will bring a dirt under the fingernails, man of the people sound wildlife management philosophy, as well as a culture of customer service that has been missing at the department.”
Noah Marion, state director of the Montana Wilderness Association: “We’re pleased that Gov. Gianforte has nominated Hank Worsech to lead the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Hank has deep knowledge of the department and the issues facing landowners, recreationists, and wildlife in Montana. We’re confident that he will bring diverse interests to the table and work to build lasting solutions that will safeguard our parks, trails, and access to wildlife and wild places for all Montanans. We look forward to working with him in this new position.”
Glenn Marx, executive director of Montana Association of Land Trusts: “It’s good to see the governor selected someone who fully understands the importance of fish and wildlife management, and understands the importance of land and wildlife conservation. Hank knows FWP issues, the department’s constituency, Montana and Montanans, and is a FWP veteran. FWP and its mission are essential to Montana’s economy and outdoor recreational experiences, and we in the land trust community look forward to working with Hank and FWP on projects and efforts that benefit conservation and outdoor recreation.”
Jim Steinbeisser, president of Montana Stockgrowers Association: “Hank Worsech brings an array of experience and skills needed to lead FWP. He has a strong background of working with landowners, which will allow for a balanced approach in wildlife management moving into the future.”
Kyle Weaver, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation congratulates Hank Worsech on his selection to be the next director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. RMEF has had the pleasure of successfully working with Hank in the past, particularly around the issues of elk and hunter access. Hank fills a position vitally important to RMEF members in Montana and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”