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NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers Honored

Contact:
Colonel Kevin Jordan: (603) 271-3128
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211

May 19, 2017

MEDIA: Print-quality photos are available by selecting each image.

 

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division recently recognized the 2016 New Hampshire Conservation Officers of the Year:

 

Sergeant Thomas M. Dakai of Canaan, NH, was honored with the 2016 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of the Year Award.

 

Sergeant Dakai has been a member of the Fish and Game Dive Team for almost two decades and currently is the Dive Master.  He is also noted for his knowledge and skills in trapping; he has investigated a number of illegal trapping cases and works closely with the trapping community.

 

“Throughout his 25 years as a Fish and Game Conservation Officer, Sergeant Dakai has shown an outstanding work ethic and attitude,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Tom prides himself on being fair and approachable, and is well respected by his fellow officers, as well as the sportsmen and women he serves.”

 

The Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s Association (CLECA), is an organization made up of Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs from the states of Virginia to Maine, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement and Canadian Provinces. The primary purpose of the Association is to encourage and promote conservation law enforcement cooperation among the eastern states represented.  Annually, CLECA recognizes an officer from each state for their outstanding contributions to fish and wildlife protection of our country’s natural resources.

 

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Conservation Officer Eric Hannett, of Fitzwilliam, NH, was named the 2016 Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year.

 

A 14-year veteran of Fish and Game Law Enforcement, Conservation Officer Eric Hannett previously worked as a police officer in Plymouth. He leads his Fish and Game District in successful prosecutions of Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle violations, baiting and littering cases. One fisheries case involved over-limits of fish being taken on the Connecticut River. Operation Pan Fish Plunder, as it came to be called, led to a significant undercover operation that spanned three states and resulted in multiple felony convictions.

 

Hannett has been an enthusiastic supporter and annual participant at the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association’s Ride-In for Easter Seals Camp Sno-Mo his entire career.

 

“Conservation Officer Hannett’s enthusiasm and teamwork approach to every challenge is refreshing,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan.  “Without question, Eric cares about the people he works with and those he serves.”

 

The Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952, as a group of international hunters who joined together to exchange experiences and ideas about hunting. It started as a social hunting organization, but soon recognized its potential to accomplish meaningful goals in the field of conservation.  About 1973, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed.  Moneys raised by the members of the Shikar-Safari International are used to carry out various conservation projects throughout the world.

 

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Meritorious Service Award

 

Three Fish and Game Conservation Officers, Conservation Officer Kevin W. Bronson, Conservation Officer Eric M. Fluette, and Lt. Bradley R. Morse, earned the Law Enforcement Division’s Meritorious Service Award for braving extreme conditions while searching for a lost hiker in the White Mountains on Christmas Day 2016.

 

After hiker Jack Holden was reported overdue from a planned 22-mile Christmas Day trek, the officers hiked up Bond Cliff trail to the summit through deep, drifted snow carrying heavy packs. The temperature dropped from the thirties to zero or below, with higher winds after sundown, but the officers did not turn back. They had discovered what they believed to be very faint boot tracks in the windblown snow. They called the command post to request permission to continue hiking up beyond tree line. These Conservation Officers were determined to accomplish their assigned task in locating Jack Holden and bringing him down to safety.

 

At 8:20 p.m. on Christmas Day, these Conservation Officers located Jack Holden’s body at the summit of Bond Cliff Mountain. Sadly, he had passed away due to exposure long before the team was able to reach him. Even in these brutal temperatures, high winds and blowing snow, the search team processed and secured the scene. The hour was late and the weather not conducive to aircraft flying, so the officers had to spend the night near the summit.

 

“As a direct result of these three Conservation Officers dedication to duty, their superior physical fitness and their determination to accomplish their assigned tasks, Jack Holden was located before he would become buried under blowing snow,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan.  “While the outcome was a tragic one, the Holden family was able to find some solace, peace and closure in the fact that their loved one had been located.”

 

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