How the OWP was conceived and born:

Sept. 12, 1978

Spencer Amend (on IPA loan to the Kansas Fish and Game Commission from the USFWS) informed the business meeting of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Baltimore, Maryland that there was a group of ‘state planning types’ who intended to have a meeting to share with each other their processes, successes and failures. He requested the International to provide encouragement to the planning teams to organize themselves in this fashion. He also informed them that depending on the outcome of this first meeting, we intended to come back to them and petition for affiliate member status.

October 18, 1978

Jerry Conley, director, Kansas Fish and Game Commission, sent a letter to directors of the state and province wildlife agencies concerning organization of a group of ‘planners’. He indicated that the presentation before the International in September had received unanimous support, and that Kansas’ intent was to host a meeting of fish and wildlife planners in February or March, 1979.

March 6, 1979

Based on favorable responses from many of the states contacted, a meeting was convened in Wichita, KS on March 6-7, 1979. At the business meeting, it was decided to pursue organization and seek affiliation with the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. A steering committee for that effort was selected consisting of Don Brown of Montana, Doug Crowe of Wyoming, Verlyn Ebert of Kansas, Dave Lemons of Colorado and Gary Myers of Tennessee.

July 16, 1979

After receiving input from the various states involved, the steering committee met in Denver, Colorado. Tentative objectives for an Organization of Wildlife Planners were articulated and draft bylaws formulated. Doug Crowe (WY) was appointed to present the case for affiliate membership to the Executive Committee of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

September 10, 1979

The minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of the IAFWA at West Yellowstone, MT reveal the following:

“Douglas Crowe presented a proposal for affiliation of the Organization of Wildlife Planners. On a motion by Mr. Bowers, seconded by Mr. Phelps, and passed unanimously, the Executive Committee approved affiliation and recommended approval to the Business Meeting.”

September 11, 1979

The minutes of the Business Meeting of the IAFWA at West Yellowstone, MT, show the following action:

“The Executive Committee had recommended and the membership approved the following … for affiliation with the Association, subject to payment of dues … Organization of Wildlife Planners.”



1981 ST. LOUIS, MO Doug Crowe (WY) NONE
1982 SALT LAKE CITY, UT Verlyn Ebert (KS) NONE
1983 NASHVILLE, TN Ed Rawley (UT) Patty Moe (WY)
1984 BOZEMAN, MT Cliff Whitehead (TN) Patty Moe (WY)
1985 PANAMA CITY, FL John “Bud” Gaffney (MT) Patty Moe (WY)
1986 PHOENIX, AZ Dave McEleveen(FL) Patty Moe (WY)
1987 MADISON, WI James Fisher (MO) Patty Moe (WY)
1988 ANNAPOLIS, MD Spencer Amend (USFWS) Dwight Guynn(MT)
1989 DULUTH, MN Harry Libby (WI) Dwight Guynn(MT)
1990 BRIAN HEAD, UT Walt Gasson (WY) Dwight Guynn(MT)
1991 BILOXI, MS Dennis Schenborn (WI) Steve Brown (WV)
1992 HERSHEY, PA Dwight Guynn (MT) Steve Brown (WV)
1993 LAKE TAHOE, NV Bob Hasenyager (UT) Steve Brown (WV)
1994 PIPESTEM PARK, WV Ron Helinski (MD) Paul Johansen (WV)
1995 MONTEREY, CA Tom Wasson (OH) Paul Johansen(WV)
1996 BLOOMINGTON, IN Tommy Shropshire (MS) Paul Johansen(WV)
1997 CHARLESTON, SC Dan Zekor (MO) Art Johnsen (NY)
1998 COEUR D’ALENE, ID Larry Cartee (SC) Art Johnsen(NY)
1999 NCTC, WV Bruce Hawkinson (MN) Art Johnsen(NY)
2000 BIG CEDAR LODGE, MO Mark Burch (IN) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2001 VERGENNES, VT Brian Stenquist (MN) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2002 SEWARD, ALASKA Tom Wiggins (VT) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2003 SEDONA, ARIZONA Margo Matthews (AK) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2004 MOHICAN ST. PARK, OH Michele Beucler (ID) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2005 CUSTER ST. PARK, SD Shaun Keeler (NY) Michael Vanderford (USFWS)
2006 CANMORE, ALBERTA, CA Larry Gigliotti (SD) Andrea Crews (OK)
2007 BLACKSBURG, VA Dana Dolsen (UT) Andrea Crews (OK)
2008 MISSOULA, MT Bill Romberg (AK) Andrea Crews (OK)
2009 ARLINGTON, VA Rob Brooks (MT) Alicia Hardin (NE)
2010 ESTES PARK, CO Verdie Abel (OH) Alicia Hardin (NE)
2012 ESTES PARK, CO Michele Beucler (ID) Loren Chase (AZ)
2014 ESTES PARK, CO Ann Forstchen (FL) Loren Chase (AZ)
2015 PORTLAND, OR Ann LeClaire-Mitchell (MI) Bill Romberg (AK)