DL warden named wildlife officer of the year
A private conservation group has named Devils Lake game warden Chris Knutson as North Dakota's wildlife officer of the year. The Shikar-Safari Club International annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state. In a nomination let...
A private conservation group has named Devils Lake game warden Chris Knutson as North Dakota's wildlife officer of the year.
The Shikar-Safari Club International annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.
In a nomination letter to Shikar-Safari, chief warden Robert Timian said Knutson's knowledge of Devils Lake has proven to be an asset not only in his boating, hunting and fishing law enforcement efforts, but also in search-and-rescue events.
"His rapport with the public and co-workers is one of his greatest assets," Timian said.
Knutson's award was one of several announced during the department's annual meeting Dec. 6 in Bismarck.
Bruce Burkett, commercial and investigations supervisor for Game and Fish, was honored with the Director's Award for 2007.
According to Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, Burkett was challenged with creating a new way to regulate guides and outfitters after the state Legislature revised the law in 2003.
"He has since assisted in establishing an advisory board, written new administrative rules, created a test and testing procedure, developed policy and conducted statewide informational meetings," Steinwand said.
Steinwand also recognized Burkett for his investigation skills, including developing policy and providing training on how investigations should be conducted.
"The result of all this is a much improved system to regulate a large commercial activity which has direct impact on wildlife resources and the public access to them," Steinwand said. "Bruce's efforts have resulted in North Dakota coming to the forefront on a national level as a place that takes the illegal commercial taking of wildlife as serious business and aggressively seeks out and prosecutes those who commit those violations."
Other Game and Fish employees honored were:
-- Special Projects Award: Devils Lake fisheries personnel Randy Hiltner, Phil Miller and Lynn Schlueter, for their work in keeping carp out of Devils Lake. "This has proven to be an extremely challenging endeavor, and they have done an outstanding job meeting these ongoing challenges," Steinwand said.
-- Public Outreach Award: Schlueter of the Devils Lake fisheries office, for his efforts in promoting education and awareness of aquatic nuisance species. Schlueter is the department's primary biologist for managing aquatic nuisance species. Schlueter "has done a wonderful job of communicating with other agencies and the public on this important issue," Steinwand said.
-- Innovations Award: Mike Anderson and Tom Jensen, Bismarck, for developing and producing a weekly online webcast.
-- Solid Foundation Award: Tonya Kukowski, administrative assistant, Jamestown, for exemplary work in the administrative, technical or support field.
-- National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Officer of the Year for North Dakota: Ken Skuza, district game warden, Riverdale, N.D. Skuza is responsible for boating safety enforcement on more than 100 miles of Lake Sakakawea, as well as numerous smaller lakes in his district. "He routinely volunteers to assist with boat safety enforcement duties, and his devotion to the job has certainly made the lakes in North Dakota a safer place for users to enjoy," said Nancy Boldt, the department's boating and water safety coordinator.