On Senate Floor, Tester Pushes for Swift Confirmation of Martha Williams to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

Williams served as former Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, current Principal Deputy Director at Fish and Wildlife Services

U.S. Senator Jon Tester took to the Senate Floor today to urge his colleagues to support the nomination of Martha Williams to be the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS).

“It’s critically important that we have balanced oversight in place to guarantee that Montana’s outdoor economy remains vibrant for generations to come. The Director of Fish and Wildlife Service plays a central role in this oversight and it’s why I’m proud to support Martha Williams’ nomination today,” said Tester. “As Director, she will be tasked with the management of the recovery of our nation’s fish and wildlife, and oversee a large chunk of our public lands – 89 million acres to be exact – from Montana’s own Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, all the way to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As a Montanan and former director of the Fish Wildlife and Parks, Ms. Williams has demonstrated time and again her ability to bring folks together to find lasting solutions – to collaborate, to find common ground.”

Williams currently serves as the Principal Deputy Director of FWS, essentially serving as Acting Director since January 20, 2021. She served as Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks from 2017-2021, and was agency legal counsel for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks from 1988-2011.

Tester continued: “She always leads with science and has developed state management plans for issues ranging from grizzly bears to aquatic invasive muscles, and she’s done it with input from all relevant stakeholders. She also has a profound respect and understanding of the bedrock laws that guide land and wildlife management…She has spent her entire a career standing up for our public lands and proven herself to be a thoughtful, nonpartisan steward who works collaboratively with folks on the ground to make positive change… Make no mistake about it, we will miss her leadership in the treasure state, but I am looking forward to seeing her effective management skills at the federal level. This position is very important for the stewardship for our lands and water, and I urge my colleagues to support her nomination today.”