Recently, Cody region Aquatic Habitat Biologist Laura Burckhardt was recognized as the Fish Division employee of the year. Each year, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recognizes one employee in each of four divisions who has demonstrated outstanding leadership during the course of their duties. Burckhardt was recognized at the July Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting in Rawlins.
As part of her job as aquatic habitat biologist, Burckhardt oversees aquatic habitat restoration projects in the Big Horn Basin that conserve or enhance stream and riparian habitats, ensuring they are able to properly function and support fish and wildlife resources. Most recently, Burckhardt has led a stream restoration project on a 1-mile section of Sunlight Creek on the Sunlight Wildlife Habitat Management Area. The project has been underway since 2018 to address eroding banks and sedimentation, improve trout habitat and ensure public access.
Lara Gertsch, assistant aquatic habitat manager for Game and Fish said Burckhardt has shown determination, resilience and ingenuity in her accomplishments, particularly on the Sunlight stream restoration project.
“Sunlight presented Game and Fish with many unforeseen challenges and Laura took these challenges on using exemplary professionalism, resourcefulness and fortitude,” said Gertsch. “Laura excels in communicating and collaborating with the various stakeholders, contractors and Game and Fish personnel to keep stream restoration projects moving forward.”