CHEYENNE — A ceremony will rename a state wildlife unit for two renowned wildlife disease researchers who died in a crash late last year.

The Sybille Wildlife Research Center and Conservation Unit near Wheatland will be renamed the Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wildlife Research Center at Sybille. The nearby Sybille-Johnson Creek Wildlife Habitat Management Area will be renamed the Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wildlife Habitat Management Area.

The couple owned a nearby section of land and built a cabin on it.

The Sept. 7 dedication ceremony is expected to feature Gov. Dave Freudenthal; Terry Cleveland, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department; and Frank Galey, dean of the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture.

Thorne and Williams were experts on such wildlife diseases as brucellosis and chronic wasting disease. They were killed in a snowy weather crash on U.S. Highway 287 in northern Colorado on Dec. 29.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the name change in March.

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