Torbit, Stephen

Biology, Educator, Wildlife Ecology

Stephen Torbit earned his Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Colorado State University specializing in ungulate nutritional ecology. Since earning his doctorate, Steve has worked in every aspect of wildlife conservation. He not only has been an academician, by continuing on the faculty of Colorado State as an instructor and researcher, but he has also worked as a biologist for two state wildlife agencies (Colorado and Wyoming). While with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, he was presented with the “Wildlife Professional of the Year” award by the Colorado Wildlife Federation. He has managed wildlife habitats, wildlife populations and served as a wildlife advocate to development proponents, federal and state agencies.

In 1993, Steve brought his research, agency and management experience to bear on wildlife conservation issues in the west for the National Wildlife Federation. He assisted NWF in their policy development concerning the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act. Steve has also served as an expert witness in many legal forums including federal district court. In addition, Steve has served as technical advisor for over 10 NWF wildlife films broadcast on PBS and the Turner Broadcast System and large format (IMAX) films. Steve has served as technical advisor, writer and on-camera commentator.

Steve’s duties with NWF also included oversight of NWF operations in an 8-state region that included assisting the indigenous tribal people of the western U.S. in the restoration of wildlife and guidance on energy development for their reservations. He remained intimately involved in conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat on public and tribal lands. Steve led both the public and tribal lands programs including working on behalf of wildlife in the face of massive energy development on public lands.

For his work on behalf of bison restoration, Steve was presented the first annual “Friends of the Buffalo” award from the InterTribal Bison Cooperative. Steve also works with tribal governments to restore other components of their prairie ecosystems, serving both as a technical consultant to the tribes and as an advocate to the federal government for the tribes. He has assisted with the reintroduction Black-footed ferrets on the Ft. Belknap and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations and with the management of wolves by the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho and Mexican wolves on the White Mountain Apache reservation. Steve served as the Regional Executive Director of NWF’s Rocky Mountain Natural Center in Boulder, Colorado. Steve retired from the National Wildlife Federation in 2011 after nearly 19 years on the NWF staff. Steve returned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and now serves as the Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications in Region 6 at the Denver Regional Office. He continues to be involved in nearly every aspect of modern wildlife conservation in his new role.