Well, you know the old saying, “All good things must come to an
end.” Well, with this issue, it seems very true. This will be my last
issue as editor of the Western Canadian Game Warden magazine. I have
been in this position since the magazine’s inception back in the summer
of 2009. Before that, I had been the editor of the Saskatchewan Game
Warden magazine since 2000.
Back then, I was not
really sure what to expect of this position or even if I could do it
... or better yet ... even how I got into this position. I seem to
recall being at a meeting and someone asking who wanted to go for
something to eat. Naturally, I put my hand up and from that point on I
was the head cheese in the magazine department. I have learned since
then to listen a lot more carefully to the questions!
I can honestly say that it has been a great ride. I have learned
an enormous amount along the way and worked with some incredible people
and organizations. I have learned much about officers in other parts of
Canada and the world and the challenges that they face. The whole
purpose of this magazine was to draw awareness to what we, as game
wardens, do and the importance of that work.
area where I have really noticed a change is in the officer profiles
and, everybody’s favourite, Takedown Tales. Have you noticed that the
officers are all young and full of piss and vinegar all wanting to get
out there and catch the bad guy? I remember being in their shoes, and I
enjoy working with these young officers, as it gives me the same drive
that they have. As I have mentioned, today’s game warden is a smart,
educated person who is well trained in their discipline. Back in the
day, all you had to know to be a game warden was how to hunt and fish.
things have changed drastically since the 1980s and early 90s. I have
noticed a dramatic change in the penalties in most provinces for
violations to our natural resources. One hundred dollar fines are a
thing of the past and many of
the fines now are in the thousands
of dollars, with multi-year suspensions and seizures all built into the
penalty. This is all done to create a deterrent so that people will not
break the law and take advantage of what belongs to all of us. One
would think that these high fines would act as a suitable deterrent,
but, as you can see by this issue’s Takedown Tales and Cuffs to Courts,
some people just do not listen, or think they will never get caught.
I think the time to leave is right. I think that the magazine
needs some change at the top and some new ideas and energy. I truly
believe in the importance of the magazine and will continue to work
with the new editor, Jeff Zimmer. Jeff is stationed in Drumheller,
Alberta, and has previous experience as a conservation officer in
Saskatchewan, a police officer in Calgary and Medicine Hat, and now,
back to a game warden in Alberta. Jeff has many years of resource law
enforcement under his boots and will do a great job. This will also
allow me to focus on some of the major feature stories that I have
always wanted to work on.
So with that being
said, I think that I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife Penny,
and my kids, Ella and Sawyer, for all of their support, as well as some
of my previous executive directors who have guided me through some
difficult times and issues. Thanks also to Bruce Weild, who designs a
great magazine, and Gayle Hesse, who proofs it, making me sound
intelligent. Thanks also to the WCGW board of directors who have
incredible passion for our work, the magazine, and protecting our
natural resources. We will be seeing you around.
Enjoy this issue of the Western Canadian Game Warden!
You have been a fantasitc leader in Western Canada Conservation Law
Enforcement with your role as Editor of our Magazine!