OUR VISION

A Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

We envision a Wyoming that leads the nation in exceptional and innovative wildlife management; all stakeholders are valued equally, and management decisions are driven by the best available science. As stewards of some of the most pristine wild habitat in the world, we believe that ecosystems must be managed to maximize biodiversity.

Mission

Wyoming Wildlife Advocates informs, educates and empowers communities to preserve our wild legacy, protect our shared wildlife and modernize wildlife management across the state.

 

Wyoming Wildlife Advocates is a 501 (c) (3) organization.

Staff

KRISTIN COMBS

Executive Director

B.S. Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, M.S. Science Education

Science and education have dominated Kristin’s life. With eight years of non-profit administration experience and three and a half years working in public science education, she has made science more accessible and enjoyable for thousands of individuals. Kristin has mentored youth in science and confidence-building programs such as the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars and Girls Actively Participating. Kristin serves on the Board of Directors for the Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as compassion and a love for all animals are central to her personal credo. Born and raised in the Midwest, she and her husband have been happy to claim the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as their home for more than 15 years.

email: kristin@wyowild.org
phone: (307) 413-4116

Board of Directors

KENT NELSON

Founder & Board President

Kent is a retired businessman who worked for many years in the music industry as a music producer and engineer and was the founder and owner of two concert sound and light production companies. He now works as a wildlife photographer and travels extensively to practice his craft. He has lived his entire adult life in the Northern Rockies and is also a past board member and officer of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a pioneer in large-landscape conservation. He and his wife Ann live in Jackson Hole.

JIM LAYBOURN

A lifelong resident of Wyoming, Jim credits his adventurous parents with his outdoor lifestyle and appreciation of Wyoming’s wildlife. Jim’s most important education was received on his family’s weekend pilgrimages to Wyoming’s great outdoors. No matter the weather, the wilderness was explored; hiking, climbing, biking, canoeing, hunting, skiing and observing our fantastic wildlife.

Jim was mentored by legendary mountaineer Finis Mitchell, affectionately known as Lord of the Winds. Jim was incredibly fortunate to join Finis’on his adventures exploring the Wind River Range; backpacking, mountain climbing and taking in the expansive views of Wyoming’s wildest places. The Laybourn family and Finis climbed Mitchell Peak together, a mountain named in Finis’s honor; this made a lasting impression on Jim. Under Finis’ guidance, Jim learned the difference one man could make raising awareness of the sacredness of wild places and wildlife that inhabit them. Jim endeavors to make a difference himself, outspoken about protecting the Wild that makes Wyoming so unique and allows for forging one’s path to happiness.

Living the last twenty years in Jackson, Buffalo Valley, and on Togwotee Pass; Jim has worked as a home builder, wildlife guide, and filmmaker. Jim has an extraordinary passion for grizzly bears. First drawn to film-making after a surprise weekend encounter with Grizzly 399 years ago, this encounter left Jim inspired to take up videography spending thousands of hours in the field observing the secretive nature of grizzly bears.

Jim is intent on replacing the fear and misunderstanding of the grizzly as a ferocious predator with that of an extremely intelligent, charismatic being. Jim believes that a robust predator population may be Wyoming’s best chance to limit the spread of CWD, and as a lifelong hunter, respects predators rather than fears them.

Photo caption- An unforgettable encounter with a wild wolf after Jim ran into a WGFD wolf collaring team in his Buffalo Valley neighborhood.

ROGER HAYDEN

Roger has lived in Jackson Hole for 26 years. A talented journalist, he has written for daily and weekly newspapers in Oregon and Washington State and was with the Jackson Hole News and Guide for four years. Some years ago, Roger traded the pen for a hammer and worked 12 years as a carpenter, owning his own business. He worked as a wildlife guide in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and has also spent several years as a photography guide and photography workshop teacher.

Roger helped to found two wildlife advocacy organizations, Wyoming Untrapped and Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and served as Executive Director and a board member of both organizations to help get them off the ground.

Roger has enjoyed all types of skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and bicycle road racing, running marathons and martial arts, in which he has a black belt.

LYNNE WAGNER

Lynne has called Jackson her home for 30 years. Her background is in accounting and finance and she has worked in numerous businesses in Teton County as an accountant, controller and human resource manager. She is also a licensed real estate professional in Wyoming.

Lynne loves to travel and moved to Jackson for the magic and scenery and stayed for the wildlife and outdoor culture. She loves and appreciates nature and wildlife and sees great value in keeping Wyoming wild. An active member of the community, Lynne is serving and has served on various non-profit boards in Teton County and is interested in working to keep this community the special place that brought all of us here.

When not helping people buy and sell homes, she enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, camping, and any other outdoor activity that brings adventure and new experiences. Lynne is excited to be a part of WWA because of the work they do in the advancement of scientific management of our wildlife.

What We Do

Grizzly Bears

While the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are currently protected by the Endangered Species Act, efforts to remove protections are coming from the states and Congress. As soon as the bears are returned to the management of individual states they will be hunted. WWA believes unequivocally that this is the wrong decision, made for the wrong reasons.

Elk

Chronic Wasting Disease – a deadly illness that erodes the brains of elk and deer – is steadily spreading across Wyoming. The elk of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are one of only a few populations in the state that have not yet tested positive for the disease. But given migration patterns and the density of animals on wintertime feedgrounds, it’s only a matter of time.

Wolves

In early 2017, wolves were returned to state management in Wyoming, meaning that in the vast majority of the state, they can be shot on sight. They can be killed for trophies, for amusement, or for no reason at all. Not only is this policy ethically unsound, it’s biologically detrimental to the big-picture ecology of Wyoming.

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