Noreen Walsh, the current Deputy Regional Director, will step up to the new Regional Director for the Mountain-Prairie Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The region includes eight states - Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The regional office is in Lakewood, Colorado.

The announcement from USFWS Director Dan Ashe noted that Walsh is a 22-year veteran of the agency and has been Deputy Regional Director since 2008.

Before that, she has been Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in the Southeast Region, a biologist at the USFWS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and when she joined the FWS, she was a research biologist at the Artcitc National Wildlife Refuge.

She has a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a Master's degree from Colorado State University.

Ashe was quoted in a news release, "I look forward to having her on our leadership team to accomplish great things for the agency."

Locally, the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville is part of the Fish and Wildlife Service.