Wyoming Wildlife Federation aims to build and sustain a network of local Conservation Ambassadors and affiliated groups and clubs, that are active in regional conservation issues and projects. By educating and empowering a base of advocates on conservation policy, we strive to convene diverse groups in constructive dialog over policy and science. Our work will engage Wyoming communities by offering them opportunities to connect in the outdoors and have an understanding of wildlife and conservation, fostering a culture of sportsmen conservationist in Wyoming.

Who are they?

These ambassadors are local Wyoming people willing to go the extra mile for conservation by advocating on causes they care about. They are moms and dads, electricians and real estate agents, Wyoming natives and recent locals who all love Wyoming’s wildlife and wild places and want to advocate on their behalf.

What do they do?

Annually, WWF brings these folks together at Conservation Ambassador gatherings where we discuss how we can help each other. The Ambassadors share major ideas for how best to increase hunting and angling opportunities, host local events, and pass good wildlife policy.

Each year, WWF also hosts an advocacy training and lobbying day with our Ambassadors called Camo at the Capitol.  Sportsmen and sportswomen come for a half-day training and legislative update followed by a trip to the capitol to lobby on actual bills. The pinnacle of the Camo at the Capitol event is the Wyoming Sportsmen’s Legislative Reception that evening.  Last year over 150 people attended the reception including Governor Gordon and the President of the Senate.

These Ambassadors are empowered hunters and anglers with incredible skills, networks, and an opportunity to effectively make their voices heard. These volunteers are increasing the influence of hunters and anglers on conservation policy and resulting in positive policy change for wildlife and habitat.

How Do I Join?

Do you have boots-on-the-ground projects you would like to see accomplished? Would you like to expand outdoor education in your community? The Federation also provides expertise and staff to help bring these kinds of ambassador ideas to life.

What do ambassadors receive? 

  • WWF Staff support on local issues
  • Exclusive Hunting Gear Discounts
  • Ambassador-Specific WWF Apparel
  • Weekend retreat and training to learn about Wyoming conservation

Conservation Ambassadors

Wyoming Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Ambassador program empowers hunters and anglers across the state to influence wildlife and conservation policy.

Sydni Handeland

Sydni Handeland

A Wyoming native, Sydni currently lives on a farm outside Casper along the North Platte River. She thoroughly enjoys the endless possibilities Wyoming has to offer. Although her more recent passion is bow hunting, she does a little bit of everything, from hunting big game in the fall, waterfowl in the winter, to fly fishing during the summer. Outside is where you will find her. Her earliest childhood memories of the outdoors involve watching her father and grandfather process an antelope in their garage before her father was diagnosed with cancer. It was her early adult years where she really developed a deeper love for hunting, fishing, and living off the land.

Field to table is an essential component of Sydni’s life, from the game they harvest to the produce they grow, she utilizes everything in multiple ways. While Sydni’s passion is the outdoors, she currently works as an RN, and spends her days off hunting or fishing and helping on the farm growing crops to sell at the local farmers market.

She shared her passion with her dad in more recent years and was able to assist him in harvesting his first antelope since his cancer remission. She also got her younger sister
interested in hunting and fishing and helped with her first antelope and whitetail harvests.

Contact her at [email protected] or via Instagram @sydnibean_

Jake Rullman Photo

Jake Rullman

Growing up on a family farm in Tennessee, Jake developed a passion for the outdoors at an early age. From running around the woods barefoot to fishing the creek with his dad, he just couldn’t get enough of the natural world. Even though his parents knew very little about hunting, he was persistent in his desire to go and learn, so at the age of 12 he had convinced his Uncle Tommy to mentor him on his first hunt. It was successful and he never looked back!

In college, Jake studied Agriculture at Austin Peay State University. While living the college life he took a step back from his outdoor pursuits. Eventually he began to notice something was missing, and after spending nearly an entire winter break in the woods, it be came clear to him what it was. Immediately he rekindled his love for the outdoors and his desire for experience and knowledge burned hotter than ever. He then grew stir crazy and decided to put his college plans on hold and move to Wyoming in pursuit of wild places and endless opportunity.

Jake currently works for Lander Llama Company and helps guide summer trips in the Wind River Mountains. He plans to attend the University of Wyoming in the Fall of 2023 studying wildlife biology and management, so that he can devote his life to wildlife and wild places.

Contact Jake at [email protected]

Annie Weisz Backstraps

Annie Weisz

Annie is a Wyoming native, outdoor enthusiast, and lover of all things food. When she’s not cooking, you can usually find her in the mountains with her family – hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, or just enjoying the beauty Wyoming has to offer. She is a Registered Dietitian and the woman behind Peak to Plate, a food blog focused on innovative wild game recipes. She believes that creating delicious recipes and enjoying them mindfully is the best way to pay respect to the animals she and her husband harvest. Sharing food with others is one of Annie’s biggest passions and she loves inspiring home cooks like herself to be more creative with their wild game.

Annie has lived in several places throughout the state but now resides in her hometown of Cody with her family. While Annie has always loved the outdoors and has been fishing for many years, she didn’t start hunting until she was an adult. After becoming a mother and seeing the importance of teaching her sons where food comes from, she decided to give hunting a try and has officially gone “all in.” Annie has fully immersed herself into the hunting/angling lifestyle which has shown her the importance of conserving wild places. Being a conservation ambassador for WWF means knowing her advocacy and donations are going to science-based efforts to protect our beautiful state’s precious resources. Annie hopes that through conservation efforts, her sons’ generation and future generations are able to enjoy the outdoor opportunities that she has been so fortunate to experience.

IG: @peak.to.plate
Website: peaktoplate.com

Charene Adventure Queen Fish

Charene Herrera

My name is Charene Herrera AKA Charene the Adventure Queen. I am originally born in Wyoming but lived most of my life in Montana. That’s where I spent a lot of my time promoting and helping in conservation in the media. I have now set my sites on fighting for Wyoming. I am an avid fly fisher who has been fly fishing for a decade in the NW. Fly fishing has been an important part of my life. I hope to help promote safe fishing handling for anglers and guides, protecting Wyoming waters, and learning more about hunting conservation with WWF.

I think Wyoming is worth fighting for and that’s why I decided to team up with Wyoming Wildlife Federation, the oldest sportsmen organization in the state. I had looked at a few different organizations but landed on WWF. They had great coverage on hunting and some amazing staff that truly cared for Wyoming conservation and I could see that. I wanted to lend my time and energy with fishing and water conservation as that is my passion and something that I think can be increased in Wyoming conservation discussions. I appreciate WWF’s efforts and look forward to lending my hand and rod to the fight for Wyoming’s fisheries, habitat and wildlife.

Tanner Belknap Fishing

Tanner Belknap

I grew up in Alabama and Ohio with the majority of my outdoor pursuits taking place on small farms and parcels of public land. My Dad taught me how to fly fish as soon as I could walk. Annual trips to visit grandma in Colorado and weeknights on Ohio's Olentangy River turned this skill into an obsession. During middle school, my dad convinced me to quit sports and bought me a used McPherson bow. My journey towards becoming a self-taught bowhunter began.

The per capita wildlife population, miles of trout stream, and acreage of public land in Wyoming is astonishing. My weekend and vacation escapades chasing turkeys, deer, elk and trout have been incredibly successful, beautiful and fulfilling. The landscapes we are blessed with in Wyoming are something we are obligated to hold dear and protect. The opportunity to explore is incomparable to other states I've inhabited - in my first Wyoming summer I stripped streamers and laid out dry flies in dozens of streams across the state, catching more trout than I had in my entire life. My first fall here I chased elk and deer in the Snowy, Sierra Madre, Bighorn, Absaroka, Wind, and Wyoming Range mountains.

My goal as a Conservation Ambassador for WWF is to contribute to recruiting new outdoorsmen and women, assist habitat projects wherever possible, and improve the conservation education of both myself and the Wyoming community. My career with Trout Unlimited provides an incredible opportunity to work in conservation of our watersheds, and WWF provides an opportunity to work on other wildlife issues and projects outside of my professional life.


Maggie Johnson

Maggie lives in Laramie, Wyoming, but grew up on a small ranch near Elk Mountain, Wyoming. Thanks to that home and her mother and father's shared passion for fishing and hiking in the Medicine Bow National Forest, she grew up surrounded by the outdoors. When she was eight years old, her father taught her how to fly fish, and she hasn't stopped fishing since, especially in the small mountain streams where she can go all day without seeing another person. More recently, she has discovered the ability to be in touch with wildlife and the land while experiencing the joy and value of hunting. She found a group of women hunters who became her mentors and shared their perspective and secrets of hunting and conservation.

Her love for the outdoors led her to receive her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wyoming in Wildlife & Fisheries Ecology and Management in 2019, and she is currently working towards her Masters, focused on Wildlife Disease Biology.

Through both her studies and time spent outdoors, she has learned the importance of not only working to conserve our wildlife, habitat, and outdoor heritage herself, but also the value of sharing what she can with others. Her goal as a Conservation Ambassador for WWF is to bridge the gap between scientists and outdoorsmen and women and to advocate conservation and sustainability.

Contact Maggie
[email protected]

Stine Richvoldsen

Stina is a Norwegian transplant, who’s been in Wyoming for a couple of decades. Although the plan was to only stay for a few months, it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the state and decide to make it her home.
She spent a few years skiing and snowboarding in the winter and climbing and riding bikes in the summer, all over the state and the west. All the while, she kept feeling like something was … missing. Then she started tagging along when her husband went fishing and hunting. Shortly after, she stole one of his fishing rods and then forced him to let her field dress most of his elk that fall. That’s when Stina realized that this was the connection she had been missing. Suddenly, she was not just in nature, she was a part of my environment. No longer just a spectator, but a participant.
Now, she has a couple fishing rods of her own, a hunting rifle and a compound bow, and she spends large portions of the year with one in hand. Hunting season is her favorite part of the year. She cherishes those moments of sitting perfectly still up on a mountain at first light, hearing, seeing, and feeling the transition from night to day. Eventually an elk will bugle and it’s game on.
Hunting is what solidified for her the importance of public lands and conservation. As she says, “It’s no longer just about maintaining the relatively small areas we use for recreation; hunters need to consider entire habitats that sometimes stretch across states to support their quarry.” It’s a complicated topic with a lot of interest groups, and she is prepared to work hard to make the voices of sportswomen heard in the debate.

Contact Stina
[email protected] | 307-690-4966

Chris Sheets

Chris was born and raised in northwestern Wyoming, where he was fortunate enough to spend his childhood in the deep wilderness surrounding the greater Yellowstone area. The environment in which he was raised afforded him many intimate encounters with wildlife and the spaces they inhabit. This upbringing solidified his passion to continue to understand the natural world and the threats to these systems. In 2007 he completed his degree in Wildlife Biology and has since worked as a backcountry hunting guide, wilderness horse packer, and professional wildlife biologist. His newest venture is co-hosting a podcast with a great group of guys that are passionate about conservation and science-based discussion. The WWF is a perfect fit for Christopher as he is a fifth-generation Wyomingite and he wants to guarantee that future generations are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to experience truly wild and healthy landscapes like those that came before him.

Contact Chris
[email protected] | 307-272-1718

Kayla Graves

Kayla was born and raised in the farmlands of western Oklahoma. Free time was often spent digging up salt crystals or spotting wood ducks at the local wildlife refuge. As she got older, her father taught her how to hunt and fish while her mother taught her how to grow a garden and preserve their harvest. This built the base for her goal to self-sustain. Now she makes her home under the Big Horn Mountains where thousands of public acres give her access to wild game and foraging for berries or mushrooms. A beautiful and rich land that gives her the ability to raise and teach her daughter the same lessons once taught by her parents.
12 years have flown by since her initial decision to move to Wyoming. This was mainly influenced by her daughter and the desire to provide a healthy environment that would allow them to be outside as much as possible. They spend as many evenings and weekends out hiking trails, identifying local vegetation, and learning to improve Kayla hunting/fishing skills. While her daughter already fly fishes, this will be her first year to harvest a hunt and put her skeet skills to use, passing down a family tradition.
What really captivated Kayla to remain in Wyoming was the care residents put into their land and communities. That was something she wanted to be a part of and eventually help improve. Now she sees the need to speak up and teach others the importance of being a hunter who pushes for conservation and sustainability. To pick up the trash along a hike or hunt and fight for public access. To educate children on the importance of respecting and taking care of the land as well as helping others learn how to be self-sustaining.

Contact Kayla
[email protected] | 918-771-8059

Codee Dalton

Codee grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where both of her parents were teachers growing up. Her mother Jean and father Harvey were very active people who were always active with many different sports indoor and outdoors. They enjoyed downhill skiing, cross country skiing, hiking, hunting, ballet productions, tria-thalons, and more. One of Codee’s fondest memories was when her dad would go hunting and come back with an animal that the family would process together. Looking back, Codee realizes that not only was her family saving an enormous amount of money on meat but they were spending quality time as a family and also eating healthy, lean meat that tasted amazing! They mostly hunted elk and antelope. When Codee was fourteen years old she was able to go on her first hunt in the Green River Lakes for cow elk. Up until then, Codee had worked hard at many sporting events and recreational activities but never experienced hard work like this. She was able to harvest a cow elk on that hunt that would change her forever.

Codee’s appreciation of the hard work and the knowledge that her parents both displayed growing up with hunting, processing meat, and cooking the meat has led her to a passion for mentoring others and making sure our finest resources are respected and valued. It has catapulted her into wanting to help others who may not otherwise be afforded the opportunity to have a mentor for hunting or just enjoying the outdoors. She also has been able to pass down the knowledge she was given to her children.

She is involved in The Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt and Hunting with Heroes of Wyoming. She recently collaborated with The Bowhunters of Wyoming, which her father is president of, and helped bring disabled veterans from Florida to do an amazing antelope hunt in the Red Desert. Codee enjoys her involvement with Wyoming Wildlife Federation (WWF) as an ambassador for all of those interested in beautiful Wyoming outdoors whether it be advising on fishing holes, hiking trails, visiting local legislators, or helping fundraise for the many great projects WWF is involved with.

“The outdoors brings such a raw emotion out in people that they sometimes never have discovered, I absolutely love seeing that come out in others and then them returning to it over and over again.” -Codee

Contact Codee:
[email protected] | 307-871-8098

Cody McFarland

Cody grew up on the family ranch in NW South Dakota, hunting and fishing private land, not fully understanding public lands until his family ranch sold and hunting leases started grabbing hold on the neighboring ranches. 2003 was his rookie season fighting wildland fires for the US Forest Service, which eventually lead him to California for 3 years, until moving to SW Wyoming in 2008. Where he is currently the engine captain for the US forest service. All of a sudden, Cody had access to hunt, fish and explore millions of acres of public lands, lands he had little understanding of in regards to their management or on the ground conservation efforts. Some of the first people he met in Wyoming introduced him to the ideas of public lands, conservation, and wildlife advocacy – things that would later become passions. He attributes much to the Wyoming Wildlife Federation as the organization has allowed him to enter a new world of conservation advocacy, ultimately looking to help others do the same. Some of his interests include being outdoors with his wife, his two beautiful daughters, and his two pups – chasing elk and mule deer, recruiting and educating new hunters and cooking the wild game he has harvested.

Contact Cody
[email protected] | 605-490-9011

Kolton Gregory Portrait

Kolten Gregory

Kolten Gregory is a Wyoming native and currently lives in Pinedale. He calls so much of Wyoming home, having lived in several towns from Southeast Wyoming to the Southwest, and almost everywhere in between. His love of the outdoors started at a very young age; his earliest memories include hunting, fishing, and camping with his Dad and siblings. In his free time, he loves to get out with his long-haired bird dog and enjoy all that Wyoming has to offer. Having lived in areas of the state with zero public land and recreational opportunities to the complete opposite where there are miles upon miles of endless opportunities, he has realized how vital both private and public lands are to this state. Along with living across the state he has worked for the Game and Fish, Forest Service, in the natural gas industry, and on numerous ranches. Working in these industries has shown him that it takes all kinds of partnerships to make conservation efforts work.

Being a part of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation gives Kolten a platform to be the voice for the next generation, hopefully giving them the same opportunities that he was so fortunate to have. He wants to preserve the way of life that is so important to him. For Kolten, future conservation begins with education and community.

Contact Kolten
[email protected] | 307-287-1313

Christopher Peterson

Chris is a husband, a father, and an outdoor enthusiast. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing, running, snowshoeing, etc., he loves getting out of doors with his family to connect with the natural world. Prior to moving to Casper, Wyoming, Chris grew up in the tiny Oregon Trail town of Guernsey, Wyoming. Living, at the edge of town – on the banks of the North Platte River – afforded him the unique opportunity of utilizing the river’s resources at a moments notice. In the summer, much of his time was spent floating, fishing, catching crawdads, or just swimming in the cold, swift currents. In the fall when the river was low, Chris would step across the river where he would enjoy building forts, miles of hiking, rabbit and squirrel hunting and anything else a young kid could dream of. In the years since Chris has spent time in the elk and grizzly inhabited Absarokas, called to migrating waterfowl in the Bighorn Basin, and flushed pheasants in the southeastern farmlands along the Platte. He enjoys glassing gray mule deer in the rolling sage of the Wyoming center and rutting white-tailed deer of the northeastern Black Hills. As he states, “Wyoming has so much to be passionate about. I believe a privileged life spent outside has given me an appreciation for the natural world and an obligation to advocate for its existence for my family and generations to come.”

Contact Chris
[email protected] | 307-574-1433

Craig Okraska

Craig hails from the hills of Georgia, but made his way to Wyoming in 2010 following a career as a wildlife biologist. His experience growing up in the rural south instilled a deep appreciation for wild spaces and the wildlife that he encountered while hunting and exploring with his father. Together with his appreciation for wildlife and an intense creative itch, he was ultimately able to merge his creative pursuits with hunting, wildlife biology, and the outdoor industry. As the Director of Creative Content and Photographer/Filmmaker for Maven, he spends a lot of time thinking about how he can use his background and camera to shine a positive light on hunting and conservation.

Craig lives in Lander, WY with his wife Anika and pup Juno.

Contact Craig
[email protected] | 770-833-9163


Christopher Bancroft

Christopher Bancroft is a freelance writer and photographer native to Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Bancroft sought to cover hunting, fishing, and travel stories. Though the Cowboy State is his home and primary hunting ground, he frequently travels internationally. The locations he has journeyed include remote Caribbean islands, Central Asia, Europe, and of course, the American West. His stories convey the importance of cultural and environmental conservation while maintaining an undertone of sincere adventure. Bancroft’s writings and images have appeared in publications such as American Falconry, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Bugle Magazine and MeatEater, among other outlets.

He chose to get involved with Wyoming Wildlife Federation because science-based conservation is an effective strategy in guaranteeing healthy wildlife populations. Organizations like WWF continue to fight for conservation by being the eyes and ears for citizens and the government. The preservation of hunting as a pastime and the conservation of wildlife is what will keep our state authentic.

Contact Christopher
[email protected]

Tales From Summit To Sage

Stories of outdoor adventures in Wyoming from our Conservation Ambassadors, members, and friends of Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

Read more about our Summit To Sage Program.

May 4, 2020

Tales from Summit to Sage: Sam Stein

May 4, 2020

Tales from Summit to Sage: Sam Stein

May 4, 2020

Tales from Summit to Sage: Sam Stein

The Issues Addressed

Each Program that Wyoming Wildlife Federation runs affects a variety of different conservation Issues. Click on an Issue to find out more about it.

IssuesSustainable Wildlife Management
May 4, 2018

Sustainable Wildlife Management

Through our work in policy, advocacy, and public initiatives, we strive for management protocols that are sustainable for the wildlife, ecosystems, and the human economies that they effect.
Mountain Campfire by Landon Blanchard Access and Outdoor OpportunitiesIssues
May 4, 2018

Access & Outdoor Opportunities

Wyoming holds some of the most pristine and intact ecosystems on the planet, with public lands comprising nearly half of the states total area. However, loss of access and increasing demands on our public lands are major threats to the future of conservation and our outdoor pursuits.
IssuesScience Based Management
May 3, 2018

Science Based Management Policies

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation makes decisions, creates campaigns, and forms initiatives based on the best available wildlife and habitat science.

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