Annual Banquet and Fundraiser – Feb. 7, 2015


As your Annual Banquet and Fundraiser Chairperson, I asked Tim Banks. Laramie, WY, if he would be interested in being the 2015 Guest Speaker. His reply was, “Definitely”.  I then asked Tim to provide some bio information for advertising purposes, and attached is his next reply. Thought it was so interesting and funny, that it appears below verbatim:

“The path that leads to where I am today is a bit convoluted, and I’ve had the devil of a time trying to figure out how best to describe it. My attempts to weave a smooth narrative have failed miserably and I finally decided that it would be better to send you a few snippets rather that keep you waiting.

Professionally, I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer, having served with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Wyoming Police Department. The last I wore a tie, I was Chief of the UW Police Department.

Academically, I started out as a wildlife student at UW in 1971. Using what I now refer to as the “eat dessert first school of academic planning”, I ignored the best efforts of my advisors and took all the fun courses first, leaving the hardest ones for last, mostly in an effort to avoid taking calculus. As my advisors had tried to tell me, this resulted in what can charitably be described as an academic setback, necessitating some time away from UW and leading to a 28-year law enforcement career.

I did manage to complete my bachelor’s degree and took some time off from law enforcement to then complete a Master’s degree in outdoor recreation, with “Non-consumptive Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Wyoming” as my thesis research topic. It was during this period in 1986, that I landed a seasonal job with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a field tech, monitoring Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes in western Wyoming. This program was to “cross-foster” Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes in an attempt to establish a Rocky Mountain flock of Whooping Cranes. Sadly, the program ultimately failed, but it did give me a great summer job and inspired my fascination with cranes.

It was also during this period that a bit of a seminal moment occurred. I was watching some cranes in one of the many beautiful corners of Wyoming I’d visited that season and was reflecting on my good fortune to have witnessed not only the cranes, but also the wonderful diversity of birds and other wildlife that I’d experienced during those months afield and it got me thinking how people might pay good money just to see the things I’d been witnessing daily.

My “encore career” after retiring as UW Police Chief is leading birding tours for Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel). These have included trips to New Mexico to view wintering cranes at the Bosque Wildlife Refuge and to Kearney, Nebraska, to witness the incredible concentration of cranes during their spring migration.

Across this span of time, it’s worth noting that a common thread of my existence on  this planet is a deep interest in all things outdoors, with wildlife usually playing a central role. So one might say I’ve come full circle. I get to share some of what I’ve learned over the years with people who travel long distances and pay money to realize some of the things I’ve gotten to see and enjoy. And…I’ve done it all without ever having taken calculus!

The focus of my presentation will be Sandhill Crane Natural History and Behavior, with diversions and amusing anecdotes reflecting on the path that has led to a police chief becoming a Road Scholar bird guide. I still have no idea what to call it?”  By Tim Banks

The Banquet & Fundraiser will take place on Saturday February 07, 2015 at the Parkway Plaza. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a Silent Auction and many raffle items to bid on. Please consider making a donation(s) to our annual fundraiser. Contact Karen Anfang, 472-0278. The success of this gathering depends on you. Thank you for being so supportive!

Banquet Chairperson—Karen Anfang