Col. Jeffrey M. Gray, (603) 271-3128
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
May 20, 2005

Fish and Game Conservation Officers Recognized

CONCORD, N.H. -- Two Conservation Officers from New Hampshire Fish and Game have received international and regional awards for outstanding performance. Lt. Jonas Todd Bogardus, of Littleton, was selected as recipient of the 2004 Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year Award; and Conservation Officer Mark T. Hensel, of Sanbornville, received the 2004 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association Officer of the Year Award.

"It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate these officers for being honored with these prestigious awards, which recognize their strong work ethic and exemplary job performance during the past year," said Col. Jeffrey M. Gray, Fish and Game's Chief of Law Enforcement.

Awarded the 2004 Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year, Lt. Jonas Todd Bogardus has served as Team Leader for Fish and Game Law Enforcement's Advanced Search and Rescue Team for the past three years, in addition to his supervisory responsibilities. He has aggressively worked to enhance the training, equipment and advanced technology used by Fish and Game Search and Rescue Team members in carrying out the challenging and demanding missions they are routinely called upon to perform. Bogardus also has worked diligently with the U.S. Forest Service to develop and implement a comprehensive hiker safety education program called "hikeSafe." This initiative has quickly gained national attention, with several other states considering adoption of the program.

Named the 2004 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association Officer of the Year, Conservation Officer Mark T. Hensel has maintained a high level of law enforcement and public relations-related activity throughout the past year. In addition to his District patrol responsibilities, Hensel has proven to be strong performer on both the Advanced Search and Rescue Team and the Dive Team. He has also demonstrated a great personal initiative in working to develop a Fish and Game Law Enforcement canine program. Having spent countless hours training and working his black lab named "Poacher," Hensel successfully obtained a number of advanced canine certifications. Hensel and Poacher have quickly proven to be a capable team during search missions and in deterring the illegal taking of salmon through the ice.

Each year, the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association honors one of New Hampshire's Conservation Officers as their "Officer of the Year."

The Shikar-Safari Club International is a worldwide organization dedicated to the protection, enhancement and preservation of wildlife, with particular emphasis on endangered and threatened species. The club encourages and promotes the enforcement of conservation laws and regulations around the world.

New Hampshire Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division is responsible for the enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fish and wildlife. Conservation Officers prosecute all of their own cases involving offenders of wildlife law. They also are responsible for search and rescue operations and for enforcing off-highway recreational vehicle regulations.

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