National Wildlife Refuge System

"Coolest Job You Can Have"


"Without law enforcement, all of the efforts done by biologists are just good recommendations," says Russell Haskett, whose territory includes four refuges and one waterfowl production area in southeastern Idaho.
Credit: Lance Roberts/USFWS
Federal wildlife officer Ben Lanford takes part in a multi-agency drug raid in Arizona.
Credit: USFWS

Federal wildlife officer is “the coolest job you can have,” says Jim Hall, chief of the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement. “From tagging grizzly bears on the Alaska tundra to checking deer hunters in Mississippi to checking duck hunters in Louisiana; up in the early morning with the beautiful sunrises and marvelous sunsets that you see by going out there every day. It is absolutely the coolest job anyone can ever hold.”

Today, there are 281 full-time officer positions and 111 dual-function officers in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Refuge Update January February 2014 shares some of their stories.

 

"COOLEST JOB YOU CAN HAVE" 
Federal wildlife officers are fundamental to conservation in the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

SAVING LIVES IS PART OF THE JOB 
Three times in his career, Russell Haskett of the Southeastern Idaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex has come to the ultimate rescue. 

PAWS ON THE GROUND 
The Refuge System has eight canine-officer teams, including Darryn Witt and Rudi at Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. 

NEW MEXICO IS HIS BEAT 
Ben Lanford covers a lot of ground. He is the only full-time federal wildlife officer for the state's eight national wildlife refuges. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FEDERAL WILDLIFE OFFICER 
Samantha Fleming knows Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland and the people who visit it like the back of her hand.
VIDEO

 


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Last updated: January 9, 2014