Williams Nominated To Lead Us Fish And Wildlife Service

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Martha Williams, the former director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, was nominated Thursday by President Joe Biden to lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Williams was appointed shortly after Biden's inauguration to serve as second-in-command of the service before Thursday's nomination to fill the vacant director's post.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of the Department of Interior. Williams will face a confirmation vote in the Senate.

The service is responsible for protecting species listed under the Endangered Species Act and oversees national conservation efforts, including fisheries, hatcheries, migratory birds, ecological services and federal wildlife refuges.

In an interview with the Helena Independent Record after her appointment to deputy of the service, Williams identified climate change as the most challenging issue she expects to tackle, but pointed out that many conservation issues are interwoven with other societal issues.

Williams worked as an attorney for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks from 1998 to 2011, including on the state's effort to take over management of wolves.

She spent two years as a solicitor at the Department of Interior before returning to Montana and teaching at the University of Montana law school. Former Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Williams to lead FWP in 2017, a position she held until this year.

Williams maintains a home in Helena, the Independent Record reported.