Fossil Rim director retires after 37 years at the Wildlife Center

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GLEN ROSE – After 37 years at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Kelley Snodgrass will retire at the end of 2021 as Executive Director.

Snodgrass brought extensive experience to the position and a deep understanding of the Conservation Center as he has worked at FRWC since 1984. During this time he has served as Ranch Manager, Animal Care Coordinator, Internship Coordinator, Director of animal care, director of animal care. and Natural Resources, Chief Operating Officer, Interim Executive Director and Executive Director.

“Working with Kelley has been amazing. He was a source of inspiration both in his knowledge and in his passion. He is also a really good person. He will be missed, but we are grateful for his management of this organization. He brought FRWC to a completely better place and words cannot properly explain our gratitude, ”said Charles Lipscomb, FRWC Chairman of the Board.

While at FRWC, Snodgrass worked collaboratively with many conservation organizations (private and public) and programs, including Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2), Source Population Alliance (SPA), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoological Association of America (ZAA), Various Species Survival Plans (SSP), and US Fish and Wildlife Service. He strongly believes in the importance of forging various partnerships and alliances to address wildlife sustainability on the scale and scale needed.

Fossil Rim executive director Kelley Snodgrass (right) has announced his retirement at the end of 2021 after 37 years of service at the wildlife center.  He is shown with original owner Tom Mantzel, who opened Fossil Rim to the public in 1984, and Krystyna Jurzykowski, who became second owner in 1987.

“At the start of what has become a wonderful and wonderfully fulfilling career – a passion, I discovered the importance of working for and towards the greater good. It has been an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve this very special and beautiful place for the mission and with so many people, past and present, at FRWC and those beyond the barriers, ”said Snodgrass.

“For land conservation and conservation programs, the opportunities and moments shared with many – this has been an adventure with purpose. I am proud that there are 1,800 acres of protected green space (hopefully more will be added and protected through a land conservation fund), proud of the many lives affected by their time in / with / via FRWC (students, guests, researchers, interns, volunteers, staff, supporters, donors, board members) and pride themselves on the continued and in-depth efforts to ensure that some of the most endangered and endangered species will continue to flourish. to exist.

Jason Ahistus (2008-21), Mary Jo Stearns (1989-2017) and Kelley Snodgrass (1985-2008) are the three main figures in the history of the Fossil Rim cheetah program.  They are pictured with an award titled

Snodgrass worked at FRWC before it opened to the public, and he watched FRWC grow and become the world-class conservation breeding center it is today. It maintains a strong commitment to the five pillars of the FRWC mission: species at risk conservation, scientific research, professional training, responsible management / stewardship of natural resources, and public education.

FRWC has received many recognitions and awards for its conservation work and diligently strives to maintain certain populations of wildlife. FRWC’s goal is to sustainably manage wildlife as naturally as possible – demographically, genetically, socially and environmentally – as part of and in support of a larger metapopulation strategy to serve as protection against extinction and in support of biodiversity. FRWC will continue to look for ways to engage and inspire guests and our community to action so that we can all serve as better stewards of nature, on which we all depend.

Snodgrass added, “For my family and I, FRWC will be with us forever. And while thoughts are never far from FRWC and what more we can do to conserve nature, I look forward to the next adventures, sharing more time with my wife, family and of course my little ones. – recently retired girls.


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