What We Do:
A quality of life agency, the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources provides the state's citizens and visitors a variety of opportunities to enjoy our arts, parks and history. Wyoming's state parks, historic sites, and state trails program offer abundant recreational and educational opportunities. Additionally, through the efforts of the Division of Cultural Resources, Wyoming's history and pre-history is studied and preserved, and artistic opportunities for both the artist and the patron are promoted and enhanced.
Leading Team Members:
Darin J. Westby, P.E., CPM - Agency Director, Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
Darin Westby was appointed Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources by Governor Matt Mead in August of 2016 after serving fifteen years with the agency and 18 years in State government. He began his career with State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails (WYO Parks) as a staff engineer and worked his way to manage the Construction/Engineering, Planning/Grants and Concessions/Revenue Departments as the Field Support Chief.
Darin has over 22 years of experience in the environmental, architectural, engineering, construction and management fields. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming, his Civil Professional Engineering license and a certificate in public management.
Darin, his wife Misha and their three adult children enjoy spending time together recreating in Wyoming's great outdoors. Darin has been active in the community and has instilled his passion for public and community service in his family. Darin coached his children in all of their sporting efforts including high school hockey and softball. He has served for seventeen years on the Cheyenne Building Code Board of Appeals as well as numerous other community service boards. Darin also served for over 22 years as a volunteer for Cheyenne Frontier Days, the World’s Largest Rodeo and Western Celebration. He worked his way through the ranks, was selected as a committee chairman (Executive Vice President) and recently completed a three year term as the General Chairman (Chief Operating Officer).
Darin believes that improving the knowledge of our organization and instilling pride in ownership is the key to maintaining the highest level of success for any organization. He is a proud citizen of the state of Wyoming and is excited to serve the Governor and the public as the Director of this agency.
Sara Needles - Deputy Director, Cultural Resources Division
Sara Needles is the Deputy Director over the Cultural Resources Division, including:
- Wyoming State Arts Council
- Wyoming State Archives
- Wyoming State Museum
- Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office
- Wyoming State Archaeologist’s Office
- Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund.
Previous to this, she worked as an Archaeologist conducting fieldwork and research throughout Wyoming before taking a position with the State of Wyoming as a Senior Archaeologist. She was then appointed by the Governor and served for three years as the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Officer, before accepting her current position. She received her BA and MA in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming.
Dave Glenn - Deputy Director, Outdoor Recreation Office & Division of State Parks
Dave is Deputy Director of Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails. He also oversees the newly created Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office. He has over 37 years experience working in fast paced conservation organizations and businesses, all of which have been based around outdoor recreation and outdoor education. Some of this experience includes directing university outdoor programs, managing remote destination angling/hunting lodges in Alaska, being a sales manager for an outdoor products manufacturing company, and running/administering 30-90 day expeditions world-wide.
Dave’s passion is helping unexperienced people get outdoors and ensure they have the tools/education to not only survive, but to thrive. Dave loves to take his horses to the mountains and is a fanatical fly fisherman and backcountry hunter. He lives with his very patient wife, 2 mules, 3 horses, a gun dog, and a stray barn cat just outside of Casper, WY.
Nick Neylon - Deputy Director, Outdoor Recreation Office & Division of State Parks
Nick is the Deputy Director for Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails. He has more than thirty years experience working with state parks, historic sites, and museums in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. He manages many programs within the agency, including: Law Enforcement, Concessions & Revenue, Planning, Construction & Engineering, plus the operations of four parks and fifteen historic sites and museums.
Nick enjoys Wyoming history and the outdoors with his wife and family, which includes three children and five grandchildren. He is an avid reader, book collector, board gamer, and Badger fan.
Tatum Soto - Executive Assistant, Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
Tatum is the Executive Assistant to the Director. She joined the SPCR team in May 2020, with 15+ years of experience as an Administrative Assistant. She started her service with the State of Wyoming in 2014 and served as the Executive Assistant to Governor Matt Mead. She enjoyed learning about multiple state agencies and appreciates the effort it takes to run this great state.
Tatum, along with her husband and adult children, has spent more than 20 years camping and boating in Wyoming, and one day hopes to show her grandchildren all of the wonderful state parks and historical sites that Wyoming has to offer.
Caryn Erickson - Manager, Accounting Department
Caryn Erickson became the Accounting Manager for the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources in the fall of 2019. Her career in government finance spans more than 13 years and began as a budget specialist with the Department of Transportation. Before joining SPCR, Caryn spent five years as the Senior Budget Analyst overseeing the DOT’s $500M commission budget.
Prior to working for the State of Wyoming, she was a marketing manager for the Unicover World Trade Corporation. She has volunteered on several committees and boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors for WyHy Federal Credit Union. A Cheyenne native, Caryn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Business Administration/Economics.
Stacy Sprengeler - Manager, Human Resources Department
Stacy Sprengeler is the human resources manager for the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. She has been with the department since 1993. Prior to this, she worked as a benefits specialist in the Employees Group Insurance Office, and as a bookkeeper/office manager for a construction company in NC. She was born in NC and graduated from college in SC with a degree in accounting. She loves to camp so if you find her tucked away in one of the State Parks campgrounds, stop and say hello.
Gary Schoene - Manager, Public Information Office & Marketing Department
Gary Schoene, a native of Cheyenne and a graduate of the University of Wyoming, has worked in the newspaper and public relations industry for more than 30 years. Upon graduation, he worked as a sportswriter for both the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and Casper Star-Tribune before being named as assistant sports information director at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Schoene returned to Wyoming in 1988 and worked in the Public Affairs Office of the Wyoming Department of Transportation for 12 years before being named as Public Information Officer for the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources in 2000.
Patrick Harrington - Manager, Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation
Patrick grew up in the mountains, rivers, and sagebrush country of northwest Wyoming. Being from Greybull, WY, he was a quick drive from some of the finest open country in the lower 48. Patrick graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources and has spent his professional career as a leader in this field.
Patrick comes to the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation office from Curt Gowdy State Park, where he managed one of Wyoming’s busiest State Parks as Superintendent. Before his time with Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites, Patrick was the Director of the Wyoming Conservation Corps, which connects young adults to meaningful national service opportunities improving Wyoming’s public lands. Patrick enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking, trail building, hiking, skiing and anything else that lets him spend time outside with his family.
Sara Davis - Wyoming State Archivist
Sara Davis took on the role as the Wyoming State Archivist in September 2022. Prior to coming to the State Archives, Sara was the university archivist for the University of Wyoming at the American Heritage Center. Before that, she worked as a digital archivist/project manager for the National Association of Olmsted Parks in partnership with the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Sara is a Cheyenne native with an A.A. in music from LCCC, two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wyoming (one in humanities and fine arts and the other in English with a minor in psychology) and a Master of Science in Library Science with a specialization in Archives Management from Simmons University. She also holds a Digital Archives Specialist Certification from the Society of American Archivists. Sara served as the chair of the Society of American Archivists Digital Archives Specialist Subcommittee from August 2021-September 2022, and was awarded the 2022 Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award from the Society of American Archivists.
Sara's goals are to increase accessibility, preservation, and management of historic documents and vital records; and to create an inclusive, accurate, and comprehensive record of all the people who have been part of Wyoming and its ever evolving landscape. Being part of the Wyoming State Archives provides an opportunity to work with the community and our government to ensure that we can save evidence of a time, place, people, and event for current and future generations. Archives help us understand where we came from and can influence how we determine to move forward.
Forrest Kamminga - Manager, Wyoming State Trails
Lander Native Forrest Kamminga joined the state parks and cultural resources team in 2009 as a trail crew member working on both winter and summer trails. In 2013, he was promoted to the Regional Trails Supervisor in charge of snowmobile and ORV trails across western Wyoming.
In announcing Kamminga’s most recent promotion, Division of State Parks and Cultural Resources Deputy Director Dave Glenn stated “Forrest will oversee all aspects of the motorized trails program as well as the division's grants program. His passion, knowledge, work ethic, and ability to build and expand partnerships will be a great asset not only to motorized trails, but also to our division and to the recreation industry in the State of Wyoming as a whole.”
Kamminga has a passion for outdoor adventures which include fishing, hunting, and dirt bike riding, along with his favorite activity – snowmobiling. Prior to coming to work for the Trails Program, he worked in the construction industry building log homes, framing houses, doing road construction, working in the oil fields, and then eventually started his own construction business. Kamminga and his wife, Karen, have two grown daughters and a teenage son who shares his passion for motorized recreation activities.
Kamminga stated that he looks forward to leading the Trails Program down the path of success. “I take a huge amount of pride in managing the State’s high-quality motorized trail opportunities and look forward to working with land managers across the state to perfect and expand the trails system where feasible and manageable, while also promoting responsible motorized recreation” he said.
Spencer Pelton - Wyoming State Archaeologist
Spencer Pelton became the Wyoming State Archaeologist in November 2019. Spencer has maintained a varied career in government, private, and academic sectors, working in Tennessee, North Carolina, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, and the Khovsgol Province of northern Mongolia. As a faculty member of the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology, Spencer places an emphasis on training well-rounded students with a diverse set of knowledge and skills, offering educational opportunities in Plains and Rocky Mountain prehistory, global human dispersal, cultural resource management, archaeological excavation, and evolutionary perspectives in anthropology.
Spencer primarily researches the early prehistory of hunter-gatherers in the High Plains and Rocky Mountains of the American West, but also maintains research interests in geoarchaeology, site formation, chronological modeling, experimental archaeology, and global human dispersal. Spencer conducts excavations at several Paleoindian archaeological sites in Wyoming including the Powars II red ocher quarry, the Sisters Hill site, and the La Prele mammoth site. As the Wyoming State Archaeologist, Spencer focuses on the publication notable Wyoming archaeological sites and the dissemination of this knowledge to Wyoming’s residents through public presentations, research monographs, and interactive outreach efforts.
Michael Lange - Director, Wyoming Arts Council
Michael Lange is the executive director of the Wyoming Arts Council and helps strengthen Wyoming communities by using the arts as a vehicle for positive change. Prior to serving as executive director, Lange served as the community development specialist for the arts council and worked for the University of Wyoming where he used the arts as a catalyst for co-curricular student development initiatives.
Lange is a trustee for the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). His research interests are centered on exploring and creating structures and atmospheres that promote creativity and he is the recipient of the 2017 Northwest College Alumnus of the Year. Lange is also a musician and composer, performing mostly in the jazz idiom, and holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s in public administration.
Renée Bovée - Director, Cultural Trust Fund
Renée Bovée is the Program Coordinator for the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. She re-joined the department in October 2006 to develop the WCTF granting program for the then re-authorized Cultural Trust Fund and take over general administrative duties to the WCTF Board. From 1988 to 2000, Renée worked with the Wyoming Arts Council. It was a pleasure to reconnect with the arts organizations in the state and to develop new relationships with archaeological and historical programs, as the Cultural Trust Fund touches a broader range of cultural programming and activities throughout Wyoming. Her six year hiatus was spent in Colorado in a variety of capacities, including working with the Colorado Council on the Arts.
Renée has her Master of Arts in Community Arts Management and spent several years "in the trenches" of arts organizations in Oklahoma before moving up to Wyoming, where she continued to volunteer with local theatre groups. Born in Colorado to military parents, she has traveled extensively, but kept finding ways to get back to the Rocky Mountain West.
Mark Caughlan - Chief Park Ranger, Division of State Parks
Mark Caughlan has over 27 years of experience in the natural resources profession and currently serves as the Wyoming State Parks Chief Ranger. He oversees the park ranger program for the state of Wyoming. His duties include chief law enforcement officer, park ranger program manager, community engagement, external agency coordinator, agency leadership team member and many other duties with Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources.
Caughlan has 27 years of experience as a District Manager and Commissioned Ranger with Larimer County (CO) Department of Natural Resources. For the 20 of those, he was responsible for overseeing daily operations for Horsetooth Reservoir, which is the third-busiest reservoir in Colorado with 1.2 million visitors per year. Caughlan is experienced in all aspects of ranger and patrol duties, park operations, facilities development, park construction, and maintenance and ranger training programs. Caughlan is currently on the Board of Directors for the Park Law Enforcement Association and serves as the current Past President.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son on beach trips, visiting national parks, camping, fly fishing, hunting, and mountain biking.