Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman to retire
June 19, 2017
The face and voice of the Nevada Department of Wildlife is about to get an update.
After more than three decades with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Public Information Officer Chris Healy has announced that he is retiring.
“By the time I’m off the books, it’ll have been 31 and a half years,” he said.
The department hired Healy in 1989 as a boating education coordinator. He said he’s moved around a bit within the agency, but has spent most of his time there as a public information officer — a job he said he was able to be successful in because of his background in broadcast journalism and love of the outdoors.
“I know how to take pictures and tell a story in a way you can understand,” he said.
A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Healy started his career as a sportscaster for a local television station. He said that growing up in Reno and fishing with his father provided him with an appreciation of the state’s wild places. That, combined with his love of storytelling, made him a good fit for the department of wildlife.
Once hired, Healy said he particularly enjoyed going out on fish surveys, since he still enjoys fishing today.
“The reason I like that is I get to see all the fish that I never get to catch,” he said. “You know, all the fish that somehow evade my hook.”
He said that during his tenure with the agency, some of his fondest memories are of times he got to tagalong on trips to restore bighorn sheep and elk populations.
“When I started here we had about 2,000 elk in the state,” he said. “Now we have about 17,000; and I was on the first trip to release them back out there.”
That first trip in the early 1990s sticks out in Healy’s memory, not only because it was the first one in the state that began returning the species to Elko County, but also because he said his team got stuck in a blizzard for five hours.
“We’re not here to make a lot of money, we’re here because of the mission of the agency,” Healy said.
According to the website, the agency’s mission is to “protect, preserve, manage and restore wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada.”
But after more than 30 years, Healy said he’s ready to spend more time fishing and umpiring high school baseball in Reno.
His last day on the job is Friday, June 16. No replacement had been selected as of Tuesday, June 13.
Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.