August 14, 2013
2012 Wildlife Officer of the Year
Don Powers of Fort Bragg has been named 2010 Officer of the Year by the California Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Since joining DFW in 2007, Warden Powers has proven to be a tenacious enforcer of laws that protect California’s fish, wildlife and habitat,” said Nancy Foley, Chief of DFW’s Law Enforcement Division. Due to his coastal location, Warden Powers spends a high percentage of his time pursuing abalone poachers. However, he also enjoys heading east into the rural Mendocino County mountains to patrol for habitat and stream-bed violations, and deer and turkey poaching. Powers is known to hike for many miles to track down wildlife law violators. When off duty, he always makes time to maintain his physical fitness, which also aids him in pursuing his favorite pastime of turkey hunting.
Turkeys factored into one of Powers’ larger cases last year, when DFG discovered an illegal 15,000 plant marijuana cultivation site with significant pollution and habitat destruction violations. Throughout the grow site, which was in an area known for wild turkeys, Powers found piles of turkey feathers. In the middle of the camp, he found a bucket with a freshly killed turkey alongside another bucket with a freshly killed deer fawn. The carcasses were proof of two poaching violations to add to a very long list of environmental crimes committed at the cultivation site.
In addition to being skilled at handling complex cases involving multiple violators, Warden Powers is known for his ability to effectively communicate with law-abiding hunters, sharing tips on how to catch the most egregious offenders and engaging the public in his efforts to ensure that violators are found and brought to justice. He has a reputation for being fair and treating all those he encounters with courtesy and respect.
WA members noted, “Don Powers connects with everyone….. even violators!”. It is therefore with great pleasure that the WA announces it’s 2012 Wildlife Officer of the Year!