The newest member of our team, Ralph Brokaw of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, assumed his post as a WYldlife Fund Board member in March 2023. As a nonprofit partner of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Department, WYldlife Fund bylaws state that one current member of the Commission will always serve on the Board of Directors.
Ralph describes serving on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission as a dream come true. Brokaw is a fifth-generation rancher in Arlington west of Laramie. His father was one of two final candidates to be appointed to the Commission, but was not chosen due to the rule-making body’s political party balance.
Brokaw looked back on that and thought one day he would like to be part of the Commission. He got his wish in March 2019. Brokaw represents District 2 for Albany, Carbon and Sweetwater counties. “My past experiences with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department were with my local game warden and regional office. Being on the Commission you see the work that is being done year-round and the magnitude of the job,” Brokaw said. “We’re involved in a lot of stuff. It’s a huge machine. I had no idea the department was that big.”
Wildlife has always been a passion for Brokaw. He studied wildlife management at the University of Wyoming for two-and-a-half years, but ultimately returned to the family ranch and never left. During high school Brokaw rode along with game wardens to learn about their work. As a senior in high school and a freshman in college he worked for Game and Fish through UW’s Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
At the ranch, the Brokaw family worked closely with Game and Fish and UW on various wildlife and habitat studies. “I’ve always had good relationships with Game and Fish personnel,” Brokaw said. He hopes to bring his “real-world” experiences from what he’s seen on his ranch to help Game and Fish and the Commission tackle future challenges, which include the ongoing development of Wyoming’s chronic wasting disease management plan, gaining state management of endangered species such as grizzly bears and the ever-changing fiscal demands so the department and Commission can continue to conserve wildlife and serve people.
Brokaw also said engaging new hunters and anglers, especially among kids, is important to Game and Fish’s future. “Kids are so distracted these days and pulled in so many directions,” he said. “With mom and dad working so hard, I don’t see kids introduced to the outdoors like I was. Kid recruitment is huge.