Eleven conservation wardens take to the field

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary
Matt Frank today announced that 11 conservation wardens have
completed their year-long training and will be taking their posts
in communities throughout the state in the coming weeks, boosting
protection of Wisconsin’s natural resources and public safety. The
wardens were hired in the fall of 2007, prior to their extensive
training.

“We’re excited to get these wardens out in the field, partnering
with local law enforcement to protect communities throughout
Wisconsin,” Frank said. “Some of these wardens are being assigned
to counties that have not had a warden stationed there for several
years and they will provide an important service to those
communities. We appreciate the support of the public, and the
conservation community in particular, in our effort to promote
public safety and protect natural resources through enforcement,
education, community involvement and stewardship.”

A twelfth warden recruit, Matthew Groppi, started training with
the class last January but was called to active military service
and is deployed with the U.S. Army Reserves in Afghanistan. He will
continue his warden training after returning to Wisconsin later
this year.

“We are proud of Mr. Groppi’s service to our country and look
forward to his safe return,” Frank said.

Wardens are responsible for enforcing state laws relating to
wildlife, fish, boating, snowmobiling, all terrain vehicles, the
environment, water regulation, and forestry. They also have
authority to enforce all state laws on DNR owned and managed lands.
While wardens’ efforts are primarily focused on enforcement in the
field, they also provide education to the public about regulations
and safety issues, and introduce new people to hunting, fishing and
other outdoor activities.

The new wardens are notable because they were drawn from a wide
pool of candidates. Previously, applicants had to be certified law
enforcement officers. This is no longer a pre-requisite to apply
for a warden position.

“We’ve learned the public is better served by selecting people
with the skills and abilities to do this type of work first, and
then train them to do law enforcement, instead of the other way
around,” Chief Warden Randy Stark said. “We hope this will open the
door to more people with the skills and abilities we need.”

The wardens’ assignments cap a demanding year of training
including 15 weeks in the academy to become certified law
enforcement officers, specialized natural resources training and
field work under the guidance of veteran wardens, as well as
meeting with conservation, environmental and recreational user
groups they will serve.

The wardens and their stations are:

Appleton – Jason Happe

Burlington – Juan Gomez

Chippewa Falls – Cody Adams

Crandon – Bradley Dahlquist

Fitchburg – Catherina Nooyen, as South Central Region
recreational safety warden

Fond du Lac – Kyle Kosin

Green Bay – Andrew Lundin

Kenosha – Ryan Bieganski

Neillsville – Adam Hanna

Paddock Lake – Nathan Furlong

Port Washington – Joel Polzin

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron Cork (608) 269-7666; Darrel
Waldera (608) 266-2425

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