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Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources
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Donald Schmalz - Cody

SPCR Commission District 5


Term Ends: Tuesday, March 01, 2022


Donald C. Schmalz was born on a ranch in western North Dakota and is the oldest of nine children. He graduated from Killdeer High School in 1966 and attended Dickinson State College for one term.

Schmalz wanted to learn more about horses and the Rocky Mountains, so he worked at various ranches in the North Dakota Badlands area prior to moving to Cody in 1967 to become a horse and dude wrangler for some of the ranches and lodges on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. A few years after moving to Wyoming, Schmalz became a Wilderness Horse Wrangler and Horse Breaker, as well as a Licensed Wyoming Guide. He purchased his own outfitting company four years later and became a licensed outfitter in the Thorofare Region of Northwest Wyoming, and was also a permitted Yellowstone National Park backcountry outfitter.

For nearly 10 years, Schmalz owned and operated the Absaroka Mountain Lodge and continued to run his outfitting and guide business, as well as managed the restaurant, bar and motel business at the lodge. Schmalz retired from the outfitting and guide business in 2001 and began raising and training registered horses and mountain mules and he currently owns and operates the Red Pole Ranch Resort outside of Cody with his wife Patty Jo. Between the two of them they have four children and six grandchildren. Schmalz also owns and operates the Schmalz Fence Company where he enjoys traveling all over America installing fences and ranch gates.

Schmalz served on and is an honorary life member of the Board of Directors of the Cody Outfitters and Guides Association and the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association. He also served on the board of directors for the Wild Sheep Foundation, as well as various committees for the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce.

In 2009, Schmalz was appointed by Governor Dave Freudenthal to the Board of Outfitters and Professional Guides, and in 2012, Governor Matthew H. Mead appointed Schmalz to the State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission.

About the SPCR Commission