Gary Collins, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe residing on the Wind River Indian Reservation, received a B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Wyoming. Currently he is the Tribal Liaison for the Tribe within the State of Wyoming Governor's Planning Office as an policy advisor to the Governor and his staff. He was appointed to this position in July of 2007. Additionally he was the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes Tribal Water Engineer for over eight years and administered the Tribal Water Code with the support of the Wind River Water Resources Control Board.
Mr. Collins has been involved with the "Big Horn Water Rights Case" for past 20 years in various capacities, including being the Chairman of the Arapaho Tribe when the case was before the US Supreme Court. He is the Vice President of the MNI SOSE InterTribal Water Rights Coalition as well one of the founding members of the Indigenous Water Network, a national organization. He also has responsibility on the Charter being developed for the management of the Missouri River. His experience has been associated with major U.S. companies including International Paper Corp., Mobil Oil, Gulf Oil, Mitchell Energy plus with the University of Texas-Austin Coal Research Group.
During his tenure with the private sector, Mr. Collins explored and evaluated various minerals and construction materials throughout the United States including Alaska. Since 1984, Gary has been employed at various times by the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes as a 'team' player in the protection and development of the Tribes' Natural Resources, including water. The Tribes were awarded over 500,000 acre -feet of water from the "Big Horn Water Case." Presently the administration and development issues are before the Tribes for all the natural resources in an appropriate environmental manner. Extensive discussions with the State of Wyoming, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Environmental Protection Agency and local Irrigation Districts have been occurring. Mr. Collins has been involved with various discussions to recognize the Tribes' positions as major entities within the Wind River Basin, one of the headwater drainage's for the Missouri River Basin. Gary is also instrumental with his family ranching operation, which has been operating since the early part of last century. The operation utilizes irrigation and management techniques from the grassroots level.