Speaker Biography: Hank Fischer
Hank Fischer now works as the Special Projects Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. From 1977-2002 he covered the Northern Rockies (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming) for Defenders of Wildlife. He has been intensively involved with endangered species restoration, particularly with efforts involving wolves, grizzly bears, and black-footed ferrets. In 1987 he created Defenders of Wildlife’s Wolf Compensation Trust, which uses private funds to compensate livestock producers for verified livestock losses caused by wolves. In 1997 he created a similar program for grizzly bears.
He was a leader in the ten-year effort to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. He chronicled this watershed conservation event in his 1995 book, Wolf Wars. More recently, he led a collaborative effort between conservationists, the timber industry, and organized labor to restore grizzly bears to central Idaho.
Fischer has also been involved in a variety of issues involving public lands. He led efforts to create statewide wildlife viewing systems for Montana and Idaho and is author of the Montana Wildlife Viewing Guide (1993). In that same year he was project director for another important publication, Building Economic Incentives Into the Endangered Species Act. More recently he has led a project known as Flathead Common Ground that seeks collaborative solutions to conservation problems on landscape-level sections of the Flathead National Forest.
He holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where he studied wildlife biology and journalism. He is the author of dozens of natural resource articles and for more than a decade was a regular commentator on Montana Public Radio. He has won numerous awards, including a Natural Resources Council of America Award of Achievement; a National Environmental Awards Council Special Merit Award; the Don Aldrich Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Award; the Edward Lowe Enviro-Capitalist Award; and a Special Achievement Award from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. He is an avid outdoorsman and author of The Paddler’s Guide to Montana (Falcon Press 1999). His home and office is in Missoula, Montana.