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June 28, 2011

New wardens begin to fill high number of warden vacancies

MADISON -- Ten new conservation wardens will go on duty in their permanent field stations this summer, following a year of training designed to make them proficient in a wide range of job responsibilities aimed at enhancing public safety and protecting Wisconsin's natural resources.

Randy Stark, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources chief warden, says the arrival of these new wardens is welcome news in the force challenged by high vacancies due to baby-boom retirements.

The wardens will be assigned to the counties of: Polk, Rusk, Outagamie, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Jackson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine and Ozaukee.

"The work conservation wardens do is complex, demanding, fulfilling and important to our state's future vitality. These new wardens are a welcome addition, hitting the field to give us greater customer service at a time when we have a high number of vacancies," Stark said. Based on the current age structure in the warden service, Stark anticipates more than 30 more retirements by the end of 2013. "We feel very fortunate the new state budget contains authorization to hire additional classes of wardens in each of the next two fiscal years.

"We are proud of our new wardens. They have worked hard to prepare themselves to begin work in their field stations. We anticipate the people these wardens serve will quickly see they have a highly trained, dedicated and personable professional officer working in their communities," Stark said.

The new wardens started their DNR career in June 2010. Their first year was spent training. They began in the recruit academy at Fort McCoy, graduating in September. The rest of the year they attended various specialized training assignments - including several tours with experienced field training officers.

The new wardens will begin their duties in the following counties by mid-July. They are:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Darrel Waldera, Training Supervisor, 608-266-2425 or Joanne Haas, public affairs manager - Bureau of Enforcement and Science, 608-267-0798

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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