Game and Fish wildlife manager receives two Officer-of-the-Year awards

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August 4th, 2008

Game and Fish wildlife manager receives two Officer-of-the-Year awards

Shawn Wagner, Wildlife Manager, AZGFDShawn Wagner, Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife manager in Unit 3B South, near Pinetop, 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).

Both are very prestigious awards. The latter is named in memory of two fallen Idaho Fish and Game Officers, Bill Pogue and Conley Elms.

“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.”

Wagner’s commitment to his work is also demonstrated in his law enforcement statistics, where he’s generated over 1,500 citations for wildlife law violations. His cases have sent record numbers of wildlife violators to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission for license revocations and civil assessments for illegal taking of wildlife, such as deer, elk, bear and fish.

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.

During his 12-year career, Wagner has been recognized as “Officer of the Year” by both Shikar-Safari and the Arizona Elks Lodge, and he has been named the Cliff Sorrels Arizona Game Ranger Lodge Officer of the Year.

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.

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