The news that Montana would have a new director might have caught some hunters,  anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts by surprise.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that Governor Greg Gianforte announced the retirement of Hank Worsech (Wor-Seck), who actually came out of retirement to take over as Montana FWP director two-and-half years ago. This time it appears to be for good, as Director Worsech has been on medical leave for the better part of 2023. His official last day is today (Friday, June 3). His 21-year career at FWP also included acting as legislative liaison and licensing bureau chief.

The Governor's Office via the State of Montana Newsroom issued a release from the governor, expressing his gratitude to Worsech for "coming out of retirement to lead FWP for the last two and a half years...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.”

Director Worsech was appointed by Governor Gianforte in January of 2021. He replaced Martha Williams, who served in the director's position appointed by then-Governor Steve Bullock from 2017-2020.

And it appears the governor only needed to walk down the hall of the FWP offices to find who he feels is the right person to take over the position.

The governor appointed Deputy Director Dustin Temple to succeed Worsech. Temple has been managing the day-to-day operations of FWP while Worech was on leave. 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 and has served alongside Hank Worsech for nearly 20 years.


“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.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a department. We couldn’t have done it without Dustin, and I couldn’t be leaving the department in better hands.”


“It’s an honor to serve Montana as FWP director, and I’m humbled by the confidence Governor Gianforte has placed in me. 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.”

Here's wishing Director Worsech good health and a fulfilling retirement, and also wishing new Director Temple all the best in the new position.

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