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Daniel Lynch: (603) 271-3511
May 13, 2003

Gray Takes Charge as Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department today recognized Jeffrey M. Gray's promotion to the position of Chief of Law Enforcement for the Department in an official pinning ceremony at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.

Colonel Gray's promotion comes after nearly a quarter of a century of service devoted to N.H. Fish and Game. In 1978, he joined the Department as a Conservation Officer. His first full-time patrol was in the Orford area. Gray rose through the ranks at Fish and Game, serving five years as the District 4 Sergeant and eight years as the District 1 Chief. In 1995, he was tapped for the Captain position at headquarters, in which he served for 4 years before being promoted to Major. He has served as the Acting Chief of Law Enforcement since October 2002.

Gray's love of the outdoors, including wildlife, fishing and hunting, sparked an interest in his conservation career path from an early age. Even as a young kid, he knew he wanted to be a game warden. He followed this lifelong interest, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1977 with a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and a minor in Wildlife Management. After gaining early experience in law enforcement as a Laconia Police Officer and then a New Hampshire State Trooper, Gray embarked on his 25-year career with Fish and Game.

As Chief of Law Enforcement, Gray now oversees Fish and Game's enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fish and wildlife. The Law Enforcement Division also is responsible for search and rescue operations and for enforcing off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) regulations. The Division deals with a wide range of enforcement issues, from keeping up with the increasing interest in operation of OHRV's, to dealing with increasing pressures on groundfish stocks and other coastal resources.

Gray is committed to keeping abreast of advances in technology and putting them to work in the Law Enforcement programs. New Hampshire Fish and Game has been a trendsetter in this area, becoming the first state in the nation to initiate and implement a Wildlife Crime Information System (WCIS) program available through the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.

New Hampshire's rapid development and increasing urban sprawl make Gray's new position a challenging one. "We have to work hard to maintain a balance between being able to use the land for development needs and keeping as much open land as possible to minimize the loss of habitat and open lands traditionally used for hunting and fishing," Gray said.

Increasing population in the Granite State leads to other challenges, like finding ways to mitigate wildlife-human interactions. Education is a big part of this process, according to Gray. For example, the Department has worked aggressively in recent years to educate the public on how to avoid potential conflicts with bears.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources. The Department conserves, manages and protects these resources and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to use and appreciate them.

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