Law Enforcement

Paul Kroegel.IN law enforce.250x275

First Federal Game Warden Paul Kroegel.


Since the first Federal Game Warden Paul Kroegel began patrolling Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1903, law enforcement has been an integral facet of conservation management. Currently known as Federal Wildlife Officers (Officers), the purpose of these dedicated professionals remains largely unchanged, with law enforcement essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. It contributes to and protects the Refuge System's efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.

Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County is part of the greater National Bison Range Complex. As part of the Complex, Federal Wildlife Officers seek to protect visitors and wildlife on the 4 National Wildlife Refuges and 15 Waterfowl Production Areas which make up the Complex. Officers at the Complex cover a vast area throughout the Flathead and Mission Valleys and enforce a wide array of regulations, with the emphasis on visitor safety and resource protection. You will also find our Federal Wildlife Officers giving fishing and hunting classes to the local schools and participating in biological or maintenance activities. Our officers seek to educate visitors whenever possible, but will issue federal violations when necessary. Follow the link to the Rules and Regulations page.

To fulfill their federal game warden obligations, our officers also check hunting and fishing licenses and work closely with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Game Wardens to enforce federal and state hunting and fishing regulations. They also work closely with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, and other Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement departments. Federal Wildlife Officers also have jurisdiction to enforce a wide variety of federal conservation laws throughout the United States, including those related to migratory bird hunting on and off of Refuge lands.

Make a difference and help protect your Refuge and your wildlife resources! Report wildlife violations and suspicious activity to an officer any time you see them. With over two counties to cover, every set of eyes is helpful to officers. To contact an officer in the event of an on-going violation, call 406-260-5192, 800-TIPMONT, or 911. In non-emergency events or for general law enforcement questions, contact the Lost Trail Headquarters (406)858-2216 and ask to be directed to the officer who works in the area where you have questions. Please be advised that our officers are usually in the field, so leaving messages in their direct voicemail is often the best way to get in touch with one.