‘Uniquely prepared’: Utah DWR names new Director

Local News

New Utah DWR Director Justin “J” Shirley (Courtesy: Utah DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has a new director.

Justin “J” Shirley, a second-generation DWR employee, will begin his new role starting Saturday, August 21.

Shirley, a resident of Stockton, received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and range resources from Brigham Young University.

After graduating from the Police Corps in 2002, he began working for DWR as a conservation officer that same year.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and rose through the ranks to eventually be promoted to DWR Law Enforcement Section Chief in 2019.

Shirley grew up in Elk Ridge, Utah County, and enjoys recreating in the outdoors by hunting, fishing, and hiking with his wife and kids, according to Utah DWR.

“With over 18 years as an employee with the DWR, I feel that my experience gained through numerous positions within the law enforcement section have uniquely prepared me for the position of director,” Shirley said.

“J brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to this position, and I feel confident in his ability to oversee the management of Utah’s fish and wildlife,” Utah Department of Natural Resources Director Brian Steed added.

Shirley replaces Rory Reynolds, who served as Interim Director of DWR after the retirement of former Director Mike Fowlks.

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