The public has a new conduit to all things outdoors in Northwest Montana.
Whether your interests lie in hunting or fishing, boating or biking, or the conservation of carnivorous critters, they will inevitably fall under the purview of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
In order to connect sportsmen and women to the broad array of work conducted by the state fish and wildlife department, the agency has hired Dillon Tabish as its new information and education outreach specialist for the Northwest Montana region.
The position has been dark since July, when John Fraley concluded a 40-year career with FWP. Last month, FWP announced its hiring of Tabish, 33, a veteran journalist who spent the past six years as a staff writer with the Flathead Beacon, where he covered sports, natural resources, the city of Kalispell, and more.
“Nearly a decade of experience as a journalist has taught me the importance of an informed public and how every day people are impacted by the decisions that agencies like Fish, Wildlife and Parks make,” Tabish told the Beacon. “I am excited to take a new hands-on approach to sharing that information and promoting educational opportunities to hopefully expand the number of people who go outdoors and enjoy our priceless resources.”
Born and raised in Missoula, Tabish graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2008. While studying the craft, he dedicated his summers to fighting wildfires for the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and has also worked as a whitewater rafting guide on the Salmon River.
“Montana is my home, and I feel connected to it, whether that connection comes through mountain biking, hiking, camping, hunting, or fishing,” Tabish said.
“This new opportunity is a great way to give back to my home state and hopefully be a steward of our natural resources.”
Jim Williams, FWP’s Region 1 supervisor, said Tabish brings a wealth of communication expertise to the agency, as well as an understanding of technological platforms to promote the agency’s work and a bounty of enthusiasm and positive energy.
“One of the things we hear from members of the public is they want more information, more transparency, and they are really excited about everything we do,” Williams said. “Dillon has a unique skillset to communicate those things to the public we serve, from Libby to Noxon, from Kalispell to Eureka and Ninepipe. So we are just thrilled.”
Acknowledging he has big shoes to fill on the heels of Fraley’s retirement, Tabish said he’s only just begun to decorate his Kalispell office that once was filled with wall mounts and other curios that his predecessor collected over four decades of work within the agency.
Tabish’s first adornment: the badge he earned after graduating from the hunter education program when he was 15 years old.
“John set a very high bar and leaves behind a huge legacy to live up to, including decorating his old office,” Tabish said.