Former Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Martha Williams was appointed on Wednesday as second-in-command at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Biden Administration. William’s replacement within Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s cabinet was also named today.
As principal deputy director of FWS, Williams will oversee a federal agency tasked with managing wildlife and habitat across the country, and in charge of more than 150 million acres of land in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The agency also administers the Endangered Species Act.
At FWP, Williams was at the helm of fishing and hunting policy in Montana. That agency also guides how the state deals with federally-protected species like grizzly bears, bull trout and Canada lynx, and other thorny wildlife issues such as managing the spread of chronic wasting disease and brucellosis.
Williams was the first female director of Montana FWP. She was appointed to that position in 2017 by former governor Steve Bullock. On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Gianforte nominated the agency’s new director — Hank Worsech, a 17-year FWP employee who most recently served as license bureau chief.