Shikar Safari Club International has selected Tom Martin of Leadville, as the “Wildlife Officer of the Year” for Colorado. The organization annually presents recognition to one Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) officer who has consistently excelled.
Martin was presented the award at the August meeting of the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Martin is the District Wildlife Manager in the Leadville Area. He was nominated for the award by his supervisor, Jim Aragon of Salida.
“Throughout his 35 year career with the DOW, Tom has exemplified the multi-purpose wildlife manager. It is not just about writing tickets. Tom’s work exemplifies how sound management helps preserve and protect the state’s wildlife. This has been especially true as noted by his many accomplishments during the past several years,” said Aragon.
“Tom’s dedication to preserving open space for wildlife and creating more public outdoor recreation opportunities in Lake County have resulted in increased public access to hunt and fish in the Leadville area,” he said.
Aragon credits Martin with working with local land managers to remove old fences on critical deer and elk winter range. Identifying the possible threat to wintering deer and elk by the presence of old barbed wire fencing, he spearheaded efforts to remove the hazards.
Martin is also credited with coordinating exhaustive ground counts of the bighorn sheep and mountain goats on Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive. As a result of his efforts, the DOW determined there were more sheep and goats on the mountains than previous estimates indicated. After revaluating the numbers, a new mountain goat hunting unit was established and the number of hunting permits for bighorn sheep was increased.
“Tom put a lot of work and effort into coordinating a long-term, systematic census of the herds on two of the Colorado’s biggest mountains. And as a result, more people have an opportunity to hunt,” said Aragon.
Shikar Safari Club International presents annual awards to wildlife law enforcement officers in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces and territories. The club originally formed in 1952 to provide members an opportunity to get together and talk about their hunting experiences.
In 1966, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed to support wildlife conservation projects. The organization places particular emphasis on endangered and threatened species through the enforcement of conservation laws and regulations. Note to News Editors:
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One BIG thumbs up!