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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of April 10 - 16 , 2002


Game wardens wear several hats

Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officers are part law enforcement officers, part wildlife biologists and part information and education gurus. Your local conservation officers are:

Lee Garwood

Phone: 788-2824

Patrol area: Wood River Valley, Galena Summit to Bellevue

Rob Morris

Phone: 324-4350 (region office)

Patrol area: Bellevue Triangle to Craters of the Moon National Monument, including Picabo Hills and southern Pioneer Mountains.

Express Staff Writer

Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officers are charged with enforcing Idaho fish and wildlife laws, but they are also Fish and Gameís direct connection to the Gem Stateís residents and visitors.

"We strive to spend at least 50 percent on law enforcement, and the rest is biological, information and education and fish and wildlife things," said Wood River Valley conservation officer Lee Garwood.

The Big and Little Wood River region is home to three Fish and Game conservation officers, including Garwood, the newest among them. He took over in the Wood River Valley when Lee Frost retired last fall.

Carey, Picabo and Bellevue Triangle conservation officer Rob Morris has worked the Carey patrol for eight years, and 17-year Wood River Valley conservation officer Roger Olson continues to supervise six district-wide conservation officers, including Garwood and Morris.

Garwood, 38, was transferred from Shoshone last fall. He started his career with Fish and Game in 1990, when he left the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Morris, 33, started his Idaho Fish and Game career in 1993 in Buhl. He took over the Carey patrol area in 1996.

The two agreed that their jobs are quite different because of the different regions they serve.

"In six or seven months here, the phone has rung more than in a year in Lincoln County, which is fine. Itís just a whole different world," Garwood said.

The close proximity of people and wildlife in the Wood River Valley breeds conflicts, Garwood said.

Many Wood River Valley residents are from places where wild animals arenít as common, and a local conservation officerís job description includes education about wildlife.

"Itís the publicís resource. Thatís who we work for," Garwood said.

Both Garwood and Morris are working at jobs they said theyíve wanted to do since they were children. Both grew up hunting and fishing.

"Itís basically all I ever wanted to do," Morris said. "Iíve always had a respect for the outdoors."

Added Garwood: "Itís outside work. Itís varied. There are periods of boredom, but thereís usually something going on thatís exciting.

"Itís gratifying when I can see little areas where Iíve done some good."


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.