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Montana FWP director retires, deputy director elevated

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Posted at 11:28 AM, Jun 02, 2023

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Hank Worsech, who leads Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, is retiring Friday, June 2 after 21 years at FWP. FWP Deputy Director Dustin Temple will succeed Worsech in leading the agency.

“I’m extremely grateful to Hank for coming out of retirement to lead FWP for the last two and a half years, and for his counsel and hard work,” Gianforte said. “Under Hank’s leadership, FWP put customer service first, focused on science, and worked to reestablish public trust. Montana is better off for Hank’s decades of public service.”

Worsech was appointed by Gianforte as director in January 2021. He had previously worked as FWP’s legislative liaison and licensing bureau chief and came out of retirement for the job as director. Worsech has been on medical leave from the agency since February 2023.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to lead FWP and be a part of the governor’s administration. The camaraderie and shared vision among the governor and cabinet members is unlike anything I’ve experienced since my 10 years in the Marine Corps,” Director Worsech said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a department, from working to reestablish public trust, to being a straightforward partner and honest broker with folks, to improving the agency’s culture. We couldn’t have done it without Dustin, and I couldn’t be leaving the department in better hands.”

The governor appointed Deputy Director Dustin Temple to succeed Worsech as director. Temple has been managing the day-to-day operations of FWP while Worech was on leave.

“It’s an honor to serve Montana as FWP director, and I’m humbled by the confidence Governor Gianforte has placed in me,” Temple said. “Just as Hank has, we’ll deliver on the governor’s vision for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – to serve Montanans well, provide sound science and reliable information to policymakers, and protect our Montana way of life for generations of Montanans to come.”

Prior to serving as FWP deputy director, Temple worked in the director’s office as Chief of Administration. He is a native of Carbon County.

“Serving alongside Hank at FWP for nearly two decades, Dustin is a proven leader and trusted voice for the stewardship of the fish, wildlife, parks, and recreational resources of Montana,” Gianforte said. “I look forward to Dustin’s continued service to Montana in this new capacity, and to benefitting from his expertise and leadership.”