Newsroom Midwest Region

Protecting America's Treasures: Recognizing Federal Wildlife Officer of the Year

May 17, 2017

Federal Wildlife Officer Rob Hirschboeck. Photo by Shay Hurd/USFWS.
Federal Wildlife Officer Rob Hirschboeck. Photo by Shay Hurd/USFWS.

Federal Wildlife Officer Rob Hirschboeck was named as 2016 Midwest Region Federal Wildlife Officer of the Year for his continuing efforts to protect national wildlife refuge lands.

National Wildlife Refuge System Regional Law Enforcement Chief Chris Jussila and past winner Federal Wildlife Officer Chuck Melvin proudly marked the occasion on May 4, 2017 as a part of the annual law enforcement refresher at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

Rob Hirschboeck of the Winona District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is noted for going above and beyond his normal job duties on a daily basis and is dedicated to the mission of the Service.

“I really got to know Rob when we were both deployed out on a Homeland Security detail the summer after the tragic 911 event,” said Jussila.

“Back then, he was willing to step up to protect our national treasures, no different than now. It was an honor being able to assist in presenting Rob this award,” continued Jussila.

For many years, Hirschboeck has been a firearms instructor and a field training officer, teaching essential law enforcement skills. He also is a Service armorer and has performed maintenance on related weapons hundreds of times. Hirschboeck also leads the trapping module as a part of the Federal Wildlife Officer basic training course at the National Conservation Training Center.

Hirschboeck is an asset in protecting the river and other Service resources. The connections he has, and the knowledge of his patrol area, has shown great value when situations develop.

Previous award winners have shown exceptional willingness to be instructors, help out with national ​needs​, develop regional and national policies, and have worked tirelessly to protect natural resources, as well as the public, and they are respected by their peers as subject matter experts.

Previous Award winners:

  • ​2015 - Chuck Melvin​, Detroit Lakes WMD (2nd time winner)
  • 2014 - Scott Pariseau, Minnesota Valley NWR
  • 2013 - Wes Verrill, Big Muddy NWR
  • 2012 - Rod Hansen, Desoto NWR​ ( 2nd time winner)​
  • 2011 - Logan Cannon, Ottawa NWR
  • 2010 - Carl Lantz, Crab Orchard NWR
  • 2009 - Adam Rawlinson, Crab Orchard NWR
  • 2008 - Chuck Melvin, Detroit Lakes WMD
  • 2007 - Clyde Male, Upper Mississippi River NW & FR - McGregor District
  • 2006 - Darryn Witt, Upper Mississippi  River NW & FR - Savanna District
  • 2005 - Rod Hansen, Desoto NWR
  • 2004 - Brent Taylor, Detroit Lakes WMD (First NCTC In-service Spring 2005)

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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