Monday, November 19, 2012
Inside FWP - Region 6
Pat Gunderson, a 23-year veteran of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, is retiring from the agency on Nov. 30.
Instead of kicking back and taking it easy, however, Gunderson will immediately take a new position as manager of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Glasgow Field Office.
Gunderson, a native of southern Minnesota, first moved to Montana in 1983 to take undergraduate and graduate courses in fish and wildlife management at Montana State University in Bozeman. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree there in 1988 and his master’s degree in 1990.
Gunderson worked at FWP’s Wildlife Research Laboratory in Bozeman while an undergraduate student. His master’s degree project was a study of sharp-tailed grouse habitat preferences on a portion of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge southwest of Glasgow.
Gunderson formally started his career with FWP in 1990, when he was hired as a maintenance worker at the agency’s Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area near Anaconda. That fall he was hired as the agency’s Region 6 prairie pothole joint venture biologist.
In early 1991 Gunderson was named as FWP’s Glasgow-area wildlife biologist, where among other duties he was responsible for tying down many of the Region’s first private land access agreements in McCone and Valley counties under the fledgling Block Management Program, leading the purchase of the South Ranch and Tampico conservation easement projects, and completing the agency’s Bitter Creek mule deer study.
In May 2005 Gunderson was promoted to the Region 6 supervisor position, where he has become a respected leader in fish and wildlife management and conservation issues across the state. Along the way he’s built up a highly skilled, dedicated and appreciative regional staff.
“This Region has an unbelievable staff that’s very focused on managing the resources to the best of their abilities and working closely with private landowners,” Gunderson said. “I’ve seen Region 6 go from getting very little notice to now being sought out for its incomparable fish and wildlife resources and its outstanding access on both public and private lands. We’ve gone from a very sleepy little Region to one that is, for good or for bad, much more in the spotlight.”
Gunderson and his wife, Christi, have two sons, Luke, 17, and Logan, 14. A retirement reception is set for 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 at the Glasgow Elks Club, and family friends and other well-wishers are invited to attend. The cost is $10 per person for appetizers, and there will be a no-host bar.
RSVPs for the reception, which must be received by Nov. 23, can be made by calling Kathy Smith at 406-228-3702 or by emailing her at email@example.com.