National Wildlife Refuge Officers Association Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 3
Summer 2013
President’s Message
Summer is HERE!

As many of you have been waiting for, the badge buyback page is now OPEN for business!  NWROA is very happy to be able to do this for all our Refuge Officers.  Be prepared that this will take a long time to process once we close ordering.  After closing the order page, I will be traveling to the Washington Office to process the purchased badges.  Blackington has told me that they will have to the badges in waves as they do not want to have 100 plus badges simply “laying around”.  I’m anticipating this will be a popular feature of the Association this year, and it will be eating up a lot of my free time.  With that, I’ll be putting out “seasonal” e-newsletters this year.  As always, for the latest updates, you can follow NWROA on Facebook and Twitter! You can also email me anytime at!

Best Fishes,

Rebecca Merritt
NWROA President

Badge Buyback is ON!

You can now go online to and buy your old “Refuge Officer” badge back in Lucite.  The really good news, you can buy BOTH of them if you turned two in. 

Click on
Follow the directions there! 

Membership Renewal and Drive

Other than a few wonderfully organized members who realized they needed to renew, just about everyone is due to renew their membership.  NWROA didn’t get reminders out with the majority of the March/April time frame folks, but look to your in-box for a reminder soon! 

As always, the question comes “What do I get from the Association?” 
One year subscription to International Game Warden
The wonderful knowledge that your dues go towards your fellow Game Wardens, both FWS Federal Wildlife Officers and other Conservation Officers in need
Representation in Washington DC for issues affecting FWO’s

2012 Achievements
Representation of NWROA at Hearings in DC and Blockage of the FOCUS Act
Numerous Donations to families of Game Wardens, FWO’s, and LE partners who have either perished or are in need
Maintenance of
Meeting with World Wildlife Federation to educate about FWO’s

2013 Achievements thus far…
Continued Donations
Maintenance of
Implementation of the Badge Buyback Program
Registered for NAWEOA Conference (July 2013)

California Game Wardens Provide Break in the Hunt for Murder Suspect
Excepted from Story by Sharon Bernstein – NBC

The key to the bloody, climactic day that police believe ultimately ended their search for fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner was a dramatic confrontation with a team of game wardens who spotted the alleged revenge killer on a mountain road.

The two wardens – sworn officers who carry weapons – spied Dorner in a stolen white pickup truck shortly after a report came in that the alleged killer might have carjacked the vehicle.

The driver of the truck fired six rounds into the pursuing Fish and Wildlife vehicle. One of the wardens fired back, emptying 20 rounds of ammunition into the white pickup.

“For a few seconds, it was the wild, wild west,” the warden told Hughan.

The fugitive "put one round in the windshield, one round in the driver's door window, one round in the light in the cabin and one round in the seat pillar ten inches from the head of the game warden," Hughan said, all while traveling 30 miles-per-hour.

Seconds later, the truck veered to the left, disabled, and a man believed to be Dorner ran off into the woods.

The entire exchange, Hughan said, took just three minutes.

"I am grateful and lucky to be alive," the warden told Hughan Tuesday night.

NAWEOA Conference 2013 
Excepted from Story by Sharon Bernstein – NBC

Registration is OPEN for the 2013 NAWOA Conference in Boise, ID.  The conference will be July 14-20th.  NWROA President Merritt will be in attendance and hopefully we will be able to have a table in the expo center.  (Vendor fee is $600, so we’re negotiating with the expo currently.)

If you are interested in attending, you can find more info at


We are due to hold elections for NWROA, and at this time we would ask that anyone who wishes to run for NWROA President, Vice-President, Treasurer, or a Representative position please submit their intent to by July 1, 2013.  You must be a current member in good standing to run.  If we do not have any interested incumbents, we will hold the current administration in place for 2013. 

Fallen Officers 

Sadly since our last newsletter, several conservation officers across North America have lost their lives in the line of duty.  NWROA has/will be sending small donations to each of the memorials set up to assist their surviving families. 

Alaska State Trooper Tage Toll

Canadian Conservation Officer Justin Knackstedt

Arkansas Wildlife Officer Joel Campora

Federal Wildlife Officer Responds to OK Disaster 

Federal Wildlife Officer Matt Belew had just finished work at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge when he learned a tornado had devastated Moore, OK, 90 minutes away. Soon, the emergency medical responder was sifting rubble at house lot after house lot, searching for survivors and hazards such as leaking gas. He came back moved by the town’s spirit, impressed by the response operation and awed by the scale of the damage: “I’ve been on military combat tours, but I’ve never seen that type of destruction,” said Belew. 

Just one of many shining examples of the Refuge Law Enforcement Program.  On a side note, Officer Belew also just received Officer of the Year for his Region.