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DNR conservation officers recognized

Six conservation officers (CO) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were recognized recently during annual in-service training at Camp Ripley in Little Falls.

Paul Kuske of Pierz was named the 2013 Minnesota Conservation Officer of the Year. The

23-year veteran has been involved in many investigations, arrests, projects, assignments and extra duties.

“He is recognized immediately in the area where he works as a consummate professional who represents the best of our officers and instills in the public the ideal of a conservation officer,” said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. “This prestigious award is not given out, but earned through dedication, perseverance and hard work.”

Other honors:

Nikki Shoutz of the Crosslake field station received the DNR’s Education Achievement Award. This award recognizes an officer based on overall career performance with emphasis on involvement in the division’s education programs; support and involvement with volunteer instructors; and educational efforts through the media and special presentations.

Keith Backer of the Black Duck field station received the DNR’s Waterfowl Enforcement Achievement Award. This annual award is presented to a conservation officer dedicated to protecting Minnesota’s natural resources, serving the public and preserving waterfowl heritage.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Joe Stattelman received the DNR’s Willard Munger Wetland Achievement Award, named after the long-time legislator and environmental activist who died in 1999.

Jeff Denz of the Willmar field station received the DNR’s Boat and Water Safety Achievement Award. This honor is based on demonstrated leadership ability and outstanding achievement in boating safety education, Boating While Intoxicated enforcement, and service to other law enforcement agencies.

Tim Gray of the Bagley field station received the DNR’s Award of Honor for his actions in a lifesaving incident.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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