Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Gary Young Honored with Prestigious National Law Enforcement Award

March 10, 2017


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Gary Young, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region based in Portland, Oregon. Credit: USFWS

PORTLAND, Ore. — Like many college students, Gary Young was looking to find a direction for his future. Then it passed by right in front of him in the form of a Texas Game Warden’s vehicle.

“I decided right then that was what I wanted to do,” Young said.

He followed that passing vehicle to a 34-year career in wildlife law enforcement and protecting our wildlife resources, including the past 4 1/2 years as Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region based in Portland, Oregon.

On March 9, 2017, Young was named the national 2017 Guy Bradley Award winner by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for his superior federal law enforcement career accomplishments in the protection of wildlife and natural resources. Named after Guy Bradley, the first wildlife law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in 1905, this award is presented by NFWF each year to one state and one federal agent for outstanding lifetime achievements in wildlife law enforcement.

“Gary has been a tireless protector of our wildlife resources,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “From Texas to Alaska, and now in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, Gary’s leadership has been essential in combating illegal wildlife trafficking in the United States and internationally. We are honored to recognize his lasting contribution to wildlife law enforcement.”

Added William C. Woody, Chief of Law Enforcement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: “Throughout his career, Gary has been a dedicated and exemplary special agent who has fought to protect our wildlife resources. He has worked to build strong relationships with state, tribal, federal and international law enforcement agencies. In addition, Gary believes strongly in developing the next generation of wildlife law enforcement leaders and has demonstrated it by providing training to countless federal, state, tribal, and foreign officers.”

Young graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He began his wildlife law enforcement career in 1982 for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department before joining the Service’s Office of Law Enforcement in 1993 as a special agent. He has worked in various law enforcement positions in the Service in Kansas, Utah, Alaska and Texas.

In 2012, he was named Special Agent in Charge for the Pacific Region, which includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Young is scheduled to retire on March 31 of this year.

“I am deeply humbled to be selected for this award,” Young said. “Our wildlife resources have always played an important part in my life. But this huge honor isn’t about me. It’s about all the wonderful people I’ve worked with who helped me learn and progress, and it’s about the agents who work so many long, hard days in the name of conservation. They make me proud to be a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.”

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