Jerry Conley, who guided state wildlife agencies in Kansas, Idaho and Missouri, died Oct. 5 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.
Conley served his longest tenure of the three wildlife positions in Idaho, from 1980-96. According to this remembrance by Rocky Barker in the Idaho Statesman, Conley oversaw a department during “a tumultuous time that included the killing of two conservation officers, a standoff with the Nez Perce tribe over treaty fishing and the beginning of funding for non-game species. Conley organized Citizens Against Poaching, the Idaho Wildlife Congress and other programs to get the public involved in fish and wildlife management.”
Conley got his degree in fisheries from the University of Missouri, then began his career in wildlife in Utah. He returned east, sort of, to Iowa and then became head of the Kansas wildlife deparmement at age 35. Just a few years later, he headed to Idaho for the bulk of his career and where he worked in summers during his college years.
Conley is survived by his wife, a son and daughter, one brother, and four grandchildren.
Read Barker’s full report HERE
Conley’s Statesman obituary