President Edwin Nighbert
Hello Fellow Sportsmen and Women! My name is Edwin Nighbert, I am 52 years old, married with 3 children ages 8, 12, and 17. I was born and raised in Lexington, and started my love for all things outdoors at the ripe old age of 6, under the auspices of my father and mentor, Dr. Ed Nighbert. I graduated from Henry Clay High School in 1986, and shortly thereafter found myself at University of Wisconsin, River Falls, studying Biology with emphasis on wildlife management, Conservation and Forestry. While there, I spent 6 months studying in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. I was also President of River Falls Ducks Unlimited for 2 years and maintained my membership with them, as well as Safari Club International, National Wild Turkey Federation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Upon completion of my studies abroad I arrived back at University to an offer I could not turn down. The spring semester of my senior year I was offered the chance to buy a 750 acre game farm and shooting preserve in west central Minnesota. My then girlfriend (now wife!) and I ran it for 14 years until we had our first child and after his first winter, decided it was time to leave the tundra and move back home to where my roots were firmly planted, in Kentucky.
We bought 40 acres in Anderson county, close to our family farm in Washington County, and bought cattle, chickens and a couple horses. That was 15 years ago and we are still here doing the same thing!
Admittedly, I was selfish in my conservation and management practices back then, as I had my own land to hunt and fish. It was only after the news brought to my attention the malfeasance of the KDFWR Commissioner towards some public water hunters. As I Had spent most of my free time in Wisconsin and Minnesota knocking on doors for land for myself and clients to hunt, or hunting WMAs, WPAs and other public grounds, I was appalled that the Commissioner was doing this to, what could have been me or my son. I was involved in the League all through high school as an avid, and champion, ATA trap shooter, I decided then to become involved again. I was elected the 6th District director in spring of 2019, and elected President of the League the following June.
Needless to say it has been a major learning curve for me, and not always a pleasant education. I felt like the sportsmen of the Commonwealth were divided as a whole, and as a result certain aspects of our heritage had been violated and over regulated, benefiting some while taking from others. I feel like we have started bridging that divide through better and more open communication within our ranks. We must make sure, as a whole and undivided entity, that the KDFWR, the commission, and the Commissioner, all act in the best interest of our sportsmen and women, and most importantly the resource. That entails operating from a scientific and biologic stance, as we have done for decades until recently. It is why The Commonwealth has become a destination whitetail state, some of the best trout fishing east of the Mississippi, among many other opportunities, and world renown geographical features.
I have worked diligently for our heritage, access and opportunity, and will continue to do so as long as I am entrusted with this responsibility. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns. I am always available.
Meet the Commissioner
Rich Storm, Commissioner
A Nicholas County sportsman and third-generation farmer with a varied background ranging from mining to human resources, Rich Storm is the ninth person to lead the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as its Commissioner.
“It is my honor to serve an agency that I love and respect,” Storm said.
Storm’s first day in his new role was Jan. 14, 2019.
“The search for a new commissioner spanned several months. Ultimately, we chose Rich, who I find to be forward thinking and full of integrity,” said Dr. Karl Clinard, Ninth Wildlife District representative on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission. “Rich is an avid sportsman, a farmer and a successful businessman. His personal background and professional experience will serve him well in this new role.
“I’m confident he will do a good job for the sportsmen and sportswomen of Kentucky and for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.”
Storm noted the agency is blessed with great resources, lands, heritage and variety.
“Kentucky’s outdoors are second to none,” he said. “I believe we should always be mindful that our work is not complete eve in a time of prosperity. Leaving things better than we found them should be our goal and our mission.”
Storm is a firm believer in mentoring: he’s personally coached students in golf, baseball and archery.
“I encourage every sportsman and sportswoman to mentor a new hunter or angler,” he said. “A positive first experience in the outdoors can have a lifelong impact on that person.”
Through his work as general manager of PICI Staffing, Storm has gained experience in various industries, including mining, automotive and manufacturing. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from Morehead State University.
Storm lives in Carlisle with his wife, Heather, and their two daughters.