Warden Stamps Help Protect California’s Land, Resources and People
The recent shootout in Big Bear, in which California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers helped to stop a dangerous fugitive, highlights the challenges and risks that our wildlife officers face every day. Many people mistakenly believe that wildlife officers (formerly game wardens) simply check hunting and fishing licenses, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although their overall mission is to protect California’s natural resources, they are also responsible for public safety, pollution investigations, wildlife responses and more.
Unfortunately, there are fewer than 400 wildlife officers to patrol and protect 159,000 square miles of California's natural habitat and they often work alone in remote wildland areas where the individuals they encounter are likely to have weapons. Increasingly they are involved in uncovering and investigating illegal marijuana grows on public lands. These grow sites are often guarded by well-armed individuals from violent drug cartels, posing a tremendous risk to wildlife officers.
“Although wildlife officers are well trained, they often lack the necessary equipment to do job their job safely and efficiently,” said Chief Mike Carion of CDFW’s law enforcement division. “That’s why CDFW launched the sales of the Game Warden Stamp in 2010.”
Funds raised from the sales of the Warden Stamp Program go to purchase essential law enforcement equipment for wildlife officers and to support CDFW’s K-9 program.
For $5, individuals can purchase the newly designed 2013 Warden Stamp. To purchase the Warden Stamp, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/ or click on the buttons below. To view an image of the 2013 Warden Stamp, visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=58651