CONTACT: Contact: Todd Schaller, Chief Conservation Warden, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement, 608-381-8927,

DNR conservation wardens proudly serve their communities to protect public and natural resources often performing life-threatening acts to save lives. 

MADISON, Wis. – Officials lauded 27 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens Monday for lifesaving and valor acts ranging from providing medical assistance, battling a severe storm’s blinding waves to save two stranded boaters and rescuing a trapped motorist from rising floodwaters.

Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes joined DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole and DNR Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller to present the awards at a State Capitol ceremony attended by families and friends of the wardens on Monday.

“Your communities rely on you,” Barnes said. “The state relies on you to keep our public and resources protected and thriving.”

Wardens are well-known public servants and are a vital part of their communities.

“People call, and you come,” Cole said. “As the state law enforcement service dedicated to the outdoors and the people who enjoy them, your service to the state and all its visitors cannot be overstated.”

Valor Award recipients are part of the DNR’s high-quality public servant organization celebrating its 140th year.

“Every warden nominated for an award was not thinking about being honored when they rushed to help,” Schaller said. “They were just doing their job and people are alive today because of it.”

The awards presented were selected by the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement’s Lifesaving and Valor Award Committee made up of bureau staff. The awards were selected based upon the following requirements.

Criteria for a lifesaving award
The employee performed an act that was intended to save a person’s life.
It appeared at the time that the person in jeopardy would not have a chance of survival without the employee’s actions or assistance.
Criteria for a valor award
Extraordinary heroism while being aware of an imminent threat to personal safety.

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