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Shawn Wagner, Region I Pinetop wildlife manager, was recently honored as “Wildlife Manager of the Year” by the department and as the “Pogue-Elms Officer of the Year” by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).
“Wagner is an exceptional credit to the department,” says Bob Birkeland, wildlife manager supervisor. “He was nominated for this award for many reasons, including outstanding contributions to fish and wildlife law enforcement. He has shown great leadership, skill and ingenuity during the performance of his job, and in promoting law enforcement training and education for other officers. He has always demonstrated high ethics, standards and practices.”
A 12-year veteran, Wagner played an instrumental role in Operation Bear Bones, an extensive multi-agency undercover operation targeting illegal guiding and unlawful take of numerous wildlife. The operation resulted in 16 suspects being charged with more than 60 wildlife violations and one suspect facing six felony charges involving killing of stray horses on U.S. Forest Service lands near Show Low.
He received the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s award June 11 in Flagstaff and the WAFWA award July 14 in Rapid City, South Dakota, during the annual WAFWA meetings.