Jill Randall honored as Wildlife Professional of the Year
by Wyoming Game and Fish
October 24, 2014
Wildlife professionals from across Wyoming have named Jill Randall, Pinedale Habitat Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, as their 2014 Wildlife Professional of the Year. The Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society, an international organization of professional wildlife researchers and managers, presented the award to Randall at their annual meeting in Sheridan recently.
Randall started her Game and Fish career in 2003 as a Brucellosis-Feedgrounds-Habitat biologist in Jackson. Then in 2005, Jill accepted the position as the Habitat Biologist in Pinedale where she has served ever since.
"Jill is a great team player with excellent interpersonal skills," said Eric Maichak, Pinedale Brucellosis-Feedground-Habitat Biologist and President of the Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society. "Her unique ability to work with other agencies, conservation groups, and landowners has allowed her to accomplish a great deal for wildlife and their habitat in the Pinedale Region."
Maichak provided a recent noteworthy example where Jill played a pivotal role in coordinating with grazing permittees and federal land managers to allow the 64,000 acre Fontenelle Fire of 2012 two year’s rest from livestock grazing. This required finding alternate grazing forage for no less than 11 different grazing allotments, thereby allowing the wildlife and habitat to realize the maximum benefit from the fire.
In addition, Jill has collaborated with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service and private landowners to implement a number of mule deer habitat projects in the Pinedale Region, and specifically for the renowned Wyoming Range mule deer herd. As a result, earlier this spring the BLM completed a comprehensive planning document that calls for treatment of some 28,000 acres of mule deer habitat in the Wyoming Range over the next 10 years. These extensive habitat treatments were initiated earlier this summer with nearly 1600 acres of sagebrush mowing, 60 acres of Dixie harrow/seeding, 70 acres of Plateau application to stimulate mountain mahogany regeneration, herbicide spraying of 200 acres for cheatgrass control and mechanical preparation of over 700 acres of aspen for future prescribed burns.
Prior to this work, Randall has been instrumental in implementing a number of important wildlife habitat improvement projects, including several prescribed burns to promote aspen along the Wyoming Range front and a variety of mechanical and chemical sagebrush treatments benefitting both wildlife and livestock. Furthermore, Randall has worked closely with area landowners and funding organizations to accomplish a number of conservation easements on key parcels of wildlife habitat within the Wyoming Range and Green River valley.
"While Jill has done an excellent job as the Pinedale Habitat Coordinator, she has also always been quite willing to help out other work units with their projects," said John Lund, Pinedale Regional Wildlife Supervisor, noting her involvement in projects such as the Pinedale elk test & removal project, sage grouse surveys, mule deer mortality surveys, and hunter check stations, among others. "Her commitment to Wyoming’s wildlife resource is exemplary."
Randall is a native of Jefferson, Ohio. She is a year 2000 graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Immediately upon graduation from college, Jill left for Wyoming taking a job with Grand Teton National Park as a heavy equipment operator. Jill has also been very active in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation during her time living in northwest Wyoming.
In her free time, Jill, and her husband Mark, are kept busy with their two year old son, Garrett. When not chasing Garrett, the two are usually chasing one of a number of outdoor pursuits they enjoy, including hunting, hiking, kayaking or horseback riding, to name a few.