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Jim Gale New Head of Law Enforcement for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region


July 15, 2004

Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291



Jim Gale, a 12–year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the new Special Agent in Charge of Law Enforcement in the Service’s Southeast Region. Formerly the Special Agent in Charge of the Service’s Division of Law Enforcement Operations in Washington, D.C., Gale began his new duties on July 14, 2004.

“Jim has a tremendous amount of experience as a leader of a law enforcement team,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “He is keenly aware of the challenges facing Service special agents and has solutions for how to meet them. We are proud to have him as the leader of our team.”

As Special Agent in Charge of Law Enforcement in the Southeast, Gale oversees Service Law Enforcement staff and activities in the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta and at 36 stations throughout the Southeast. Law Enforcement focuses on preventing potentially devastating threats to wildlife. Its responsibilities include breaking up international and domestic smuggling rings that target imperiled animals; preventing the unlawful exploitation of protected U.S. species; and protecting wildlife from environmental hazards and safeguarding critical habitat for endangered species.

Law Enforcement also enforces federal migratory game bird hunting regulations and works with the States to protect other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities. Other responsibilities are inspecting wildlife shipments to ensure compliance with laws and treaties and detect illegal trade; working with international counterparts to combat illegal trafficking in protected species; using forensic science to analyze evidence and solve wildlife crime, and providing information to the public to promote compliance with wildlife protection laws.

“The Southeast Region has done a fantastic job in building a strong Law Enforcement program, and I am proud of the committed effort of its Law Enforcement staff,” said Gale. “I hope to continue the strong partnerships that have been developed with our state and federal counterparts to address issues of specific concern to the Southeast.”

Gale comes to the Southeast Region from Washington, D.C., where he had been Special Agent in Charge of the Division of Law enforcement Operations since June 2003. In that position, he supervised the work of 26 employees working in the Branches of Investigations, Special Operations, Training, and Inspection. He was a member of the Service’s Headquarters staff for four years. From August 2000 until June 2003, he servedas a Senior Special Agent and as the Special Agent in Charge of the Branch of Training and Inspection.

Gale joined the Service in May 1992. His first assignment was in Lawrence, New York at JFK International Airport. He has also been stationed in Buffalo, New York and Bay City, Michigan. He began his law enforcement career as a State Game Warden with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, where he worked on the Chesapeake Bay and the tidal marshes along the coastal barrier islands.

Originally from East Hampton, New York, Gale enjoys outdoor activities and sports, especially fishing, hunting, and golf. He and his wife, Abby, have two children, Kyle, age 10, and Janel, age 6.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.

Jim Gale
Jim Gale
Photo credit US FWS

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Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

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