|Wieland is hanging it up as wildlife manager|
|Written by Chris Lee|
After serving 30 years for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Jack Wieland is hanging it up to move on to something else. What, one may ask? Well, he isn’t quite sure yet.
Wieland has spent the last 20 years as the district wildlife manager in the Phillips County area.
In 1986, Wieland began as a fisheries worker with the Central Region. In July 1988 he began in the training program and took control of his own district in Dove Creek. He spent three years there before moving to Holyoke in 1992.
Wieland grew up in Nebraska and has liked working in and around Phillips County which represents where he grew up. The terrain and wildlife are very similar.
Looking back, Wieland said he is proud of the work the DOW has done with landowners getting trees planted. He noted when he first moved to the area there weren’t many trees. Now they are everywhere. He said he has been involved with planting enough tree rows to line the sides of the highway from Holyoke to Denver and back.
Another aspect is working with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts. He has enjoyed working with the numerous agencies involved.
He was quick to mention working with youth will be something he will miss the most. He plans to offer his knowledge in some capacity in the future to help kids learn about the area, hunting and the outdoors.
When he first moved to Holyoke, Wieland oversaw all of Phillips County and parts of Yuma, Logan and Washington counties, which totaled about 2,000 square miles.
About six years ago, the district boundaries were redone, and he ended up with Phillips and Sedgwick counties. He said he has spent a lot of time in Sedgwick County due to the Platte River and Jumbo Reservoir. There are also a lot more state wildlife areas. Even though the area decreased, he said the workload has been focused to the area north of Phillips County.
June 30 marks Wieland’s final day on the job. The DOW will begin advertising for a lateral transfer July 1 and if no one transfers, the job will go to a trainee currently in training. Wieland said they may not know until January of 2013 who that may be. Until then, officers from out of the area will be brought in to help cover the district.
“It’s just kind of time,” Wieland said about his decision to move on. “I just want to do some other things now.” He has some hobbies he would like to work on and should have some more time now that he is saying goodbye to the DOW.
Wieland is very appreciative of the landowners he has worked with on different projects over the years. He also acknowledged area businesses that provided him with gear to “get the job done.”
Holyoke Enterprise June 21, 2012