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Conservation Officer Staples receives award

Conservation Officer Scott Staples of Carlton County was among COs to receive state awards recently. Staples was the recipient of the Willard Munger Wetland Achievement Award.

Conservation Officer Scott Staples of Carlton County was among COs to receive state awards recently. Staples was the recipient of the Willard Munger Wetland Achievement Award.

Both the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Shikar-Safari Club International named State Conservation Officer Joe Frear of Waseca as Conservation Officer of the Year during the awards ceremony, which took place on Feb. 6 at Camp Ripley.

Hamm praised Frear for taking enforcement action on more than 15,000 natural resources violations during his nearly 25 years as a conservation officer, as well as his years of community service.

DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten thanked all conservation officers for a year who displayed their skills, training and courage during a number of high-profile incidents, including the 35W Bridge collapse and flooding in southeast and west-central Minnesota.

"I don't know if you understand how much we appreciate the work you do, and that's because we can't say thank you enough as an agency, as a Commissioner's Office, as the state of Minnesota, and as the citizens of this state for work you do," Holsten said.

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"There were situations in 2007 that we as a society don't want to relive. But, the fact we have you there is having the confidence, knowledge and security of knowing you're out there and you have the courage, responsibility, attitude and training to step up and face these situations and put yourself in harm's way for us. Thank you for all you do on behalf of the state of Minnesota."

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