Jeffrey (Jeff) Harlan Shryer

Monday, July 5, 2021
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Jeffrey (Jeff) Harlan Shryer, 73 years old, left this earthly world much too soon in June. He was born to Melvin Charles Shryer and Evelyn Rose Greenbaum Shryer in Los Angles, California. He never married nor had children, but instead decided as a young man to devote his life to stewarding resources, wildlife species, and land conservation. He had a long professional career as a wildlife biologist and warden that took him around the world, working to protect wildlife and the habitats they need to thrive.

Jeff began his career working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), conducting research on condors and the desert tortoise in the ecosystems of Nevada and California. He then went to Alaska to work with bears, Dall sheep, and wolves. An opportunity with the BLM’s Endangered Species Program in Montana brought him to Miles City, where he directed research on endangered bats, raptors, and black-footed ferrets. From there, Jeff traveled to Botswana as part of the U.S. Peace Corps. He served as the director and head game warden of Chobe National Park, known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo. Jeff worked with locals to protect threatened species from poachers and advised park employees on wildlife management practices.

After Botswana, Jeff completed wildlife assignments for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) across the globe, including Madagascar, Washington D.C., New Jersey, West Virginia, Montana, Alaska, Bolivia, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, Israel, Sri Lanka, Australia, the Galapagos Islands, China, and Siberia. He conducted wildlife inventories, managed wildlife refuges for the USFWS, and helped prepare management plans for wildlife reserves.

Jeff attributed his incredible adventures and opportunities to his lifelong desire to help. Not long ago, he quoted Einstein, “we are taught to believe that our happiness is dependent on possessions and comfort, when all we really need to make us happy is enthusiasm.”

In his retirement, Jeff continued to be an ardent supporter of wildlife and land conservation in Montana. He worked closely with professors and researchers at Montana State University to identify lands that possess high levels of biodiversity. He partnered with The Montana Land Reliance and voiced his belief that “the future of conservation and biodiversity is on privately held properties where landowners have much more influence on what occurs on their land than public servants have on public lands. I am extraordinarily grateful to have had the experiences I’ve had and to be able to put my mind to work on protecting the resources on our private lands. My efforts are intended to set a positive example and inspire others to consider doing the same.”

Jeff also volunteered through THRIVE as a Child Advancement Project mentor to gifted children in the Bozeman schools and was an assistant instructor to students in the Health, Poverty & Agriculture Program at Montana State University.

Jeff enjoyed vacationing in remote corners of the planet, backcountry hiking trips, kayaking, hunting, fly fishing, and was an avid reader. He also enjoyed playing his banjo and getting together with others to share ideas and spur deep thought. Jeff is survived by his sister, Sandee Glickman, his brother, Marc Shryer, and their families, as well as by his many friends across the country who miss him greatly. A memorial gathering will be held at a later date. For those wishing to honor Jeff’s life, memorial donations can be made to Thrive at www.allthrive.org or to The Montana Land Reliance at www.mtlandreliance.org.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com.

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