Presenting our initiative to our state lawmakers were Brian Nesvik, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, Chris McBarnes, President of The WYldlife Fund, and Taylor Phillips, Founder of Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow. We had participation from both senators and representatives, as well as our non-profit friends, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Left to Right: Taylor Phillips, Founder of Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow, Brian Nesvik, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, Janet Marschner, Board Director of The WYldlife Fund, and Chris McBarnes, President of The WYldlife Fund.
The goal of our luncheon was to get our governing body on board with the work we are doing. It was a huge success, and we have interest within the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, & Cultural Resources Committee, who will be discussing our initiative at their next committee meeting.
We also had the pleasure of meeting with former Governor Dave Freudenthal at his home in Cheyenne, where we discussed our mission and the next steps to advance our movement. We are thrilled to share that our former Governor is on board with this work and will be assisting in providing strategic direction.
Taylor Phillips (left) and Chris McBarnes (right) with former Governor Dave Freudenthal at his home in Cheyenne, WY.
Finally, we attended this year’s Hospitality & Tourism Conference, where we had positive conversations with the Travel and Tourism Boards, Chamber of Commerce leaders, and government officials across the state. We also had a chance to present our mission at the Board of Directors Meeting for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. We are pleased to share that our initiative was well-received, and that the Office of Tourism is on board with our work.
Not only was our time in Cheyenne a huge success, but we have had success across the board in the past five months. In this time, over 50 businesses have invested in our work, and WTFT has generated over $100K in donations. We have a bright future ahead of us and we can’t wait to keep working towards changing the conservation funding model, business by business!
We are excited to keep our momentum strong, and we aim to expand our movement beyond Jackson. This month, we will represent WTFT at meetings in Park County, and we already have representation in Pinedale and Cody. Next, we aim to work with our regional NGOs as well as undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wyoming (UW) to help advance this work. We also plan to team up with UW to implement a live-streaming project to assist in soliciting donations for WTFT. Lastly, we plan to hire and train a part-time position via The WYldlife Fund to further advance our movement.
All of this important work would not be possible without the support of The WYldlife Fund, under whom the Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow initiative was born. We are excited for what comes next, and we hope you will be a part of this exciting new movement. If you would like more information about our future and how you can participate, please reach out.