Bauer honored at NY Top Wildlife Conservation Officer


Arkville resident Vern Bauer was recently honored as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation “Officer of the Year” for 2011. Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Bauer was presented with the award at a ceremony held July 19 at Brant Lake.

ECO Bauer earned the award as the result of his involvement in “numerous high quality Fish and Wildlife cases involving trout, deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl, timber rattlesnakes and bald eagles,” according to a departmental release.

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Two of the cases involving ECO Bauer were highlighted in the 2008-09 and 2011-12 NYS Hunting and Trapping Guides. One case involved the killing of four illegal deer and two turkeys. The second involved the illegal killing of six deer.

ECO Bauer was credited with using skilled interview techniques and all the tools at his disposal — including K9, social media and DNA or ballistics testing — to substantiate the charges against the alleged violators.

In 2007, he was the recipient of DLE’s Samuel S. Taylor Award for his response to the armed confrontation between state police and Travis Trim near Margaretville. He was nominated as Region 4 ECO of the Year in 2009.

Bauer is a Division of Criminal Justice Services certified police instructor in General Topics, Physical Fitness, Defensive Tactics and Firearms. He currently serves as Region 4’s Sr. Firearms Instructor. Additionally, he became a certified Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle Emissions Inspector, RADAR operator and member of the R4 Chemical Immobilization Team to address the enforcement needs and issues in his sector/zone.

A native of Queens, ECO Bauer attended Hartwick College in Oneonta where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He graduated from the 26-week residential Environmental Conservation Police Academy at SUNY Oswego in 2000. He earned recognition as the Outstanding ECO Recruit for the 13th Basic Academy.

Originally assigned to DEC’s Region 1, he patrolled northern Nassau County until he transferred to Region 4’s Delaware County territory in 2002. In his upstate duties, ECO Bauer has worked considerably more Fish and Game enforcement than in his previous assignment.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens praised the award-winners achievements.

“ECO Bauer has demonstrated a true commitment to protecting our state’s natural resources,” said Commissioner Martens. “Officer Bauer has worked diligently in his time with DEC to enforce the state’s environmental conservation laws focusing on Fish and Wildlife and I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

The “Officer of the Year” award is presented by the Shikar-Safari Club International. The club was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport. Each year, the club sponsors a Wildlife Conservation Police Officer of the Year award in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and the territories of both nations.