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OSP Mid-Columbia Area Fish & Wildlife Troopers Selected as Division's 2007 "Team of the Year"
08/08/2008
Captain Walt Markee
OSP Fish & Wildlife Division
Office: (503) 934-0221

Photograph Source: Oregon State Police
(Top row left to right: Recruit Justin Fraizer, Senior Trooper Les Kipper, Recruit Travis Ring.
Middle row left to right: Trooper Sean Carothers, Senior Trooper Craig Gunderson, Senior Trooper Swede Pearson, Senior Trooper Joel McNerney.
Bottom row: Sergeant John Katzenstein)
2007 "Team of the Year"
Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division recognized the excellent work of troopers from the North Central Team area as recipients of the division's "Team of the Year" award for 2007. This is the second presentation of the award since the division implemented a new program celebrating and recognizing the outstanding team work by our troopers in protecting Oregon's natural resources.
 
The North Central Team (NCT) experiences some of the most diverse enforcement issues in the State. Eight troopers assigned at OSP work sites in The Dalles, Hood River, Arlington, and Fossil/Condon work under the supervision of Sergeant John Katzenstein out of The Dalles Area Command office. Some of the diverse enforcement issues in the five county area the NCT is responsible for includes sensitive fish species on local rivers; Native American ceremonial, subsistence and commercial fisheries with the four treaty tribes; enforcement of scenic waterway laws and regulations on segments of the Lower Deschutes and John Day rivers; and, boating under the influence dangers on area waterways.
 
"This group truly operates as a team as they encourage and support each other in their daily operations," said East Region OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Lieutenant Randy Scorby. "NCT members receive high praise by the local District Attorney's Offices for their comprehensive and professional investigations and reporters, as well as their professionalism in court."
 
Some highlights involving NCT troopers include:
 
* Two troopers discovered a large outdoor marijuana grow site south of The Dalles while following up on a bear investigation. Two suspects fled on foot, one of which was caught at the scene where troopers found a sophisticated outdoor marijuana growing operation that yielded nearly 8,900 marijuana plants with an estimated maturity growth value of nearly $9 million. One suspect was recently convicted on multiple federal charges.
 
* OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers out of Baker City investigating an illegal bighorn sheep kill developed suspect and vehicle information which was forwarded to troopers working along Interstate 84. Two NCT troopers spotted the vehicle in The Dalles and contacted the suspects. Evidence and a weapon used to kill the animal were found and two suspects charged.
 
* Two troopers investigated a burglary at an old hydro facility and found evidence including items used in to commit the crime. A suspect vehicle description was developed and two other team members spotted and stopped the vehicle. Evidence of metal theft was found in the vehicle and both suspects were charged with Burglary in the Second Degree.
 
* Team members are very involved in the community with local user groups and businesses. Presentations were given at hunter safety classes, local youth turkey clinic, American Fisheries Society, and at the local Cherry Festival.
 
NCT troopers working under Sergeant Katzenstein's supervisor include Senior Trooper Les Kipper (The Dalles); Senior Trooper Swede Pearson (The Dalles); Senior Trooper Craig Gunderson (The Dalles); Senior Trooper Joel McNerney (Hood River); Senior Trooper David Anderson (Hood River); Recruit Justin Frazier (Hood River); Trooper Sean Carothers (Fossil/Condon); and, Recruit Travis Ring (Arlington).
 
Criteria for the award included professionalism, dedication to citizens and natural resources of our State, and team work ethic. Nominations received from the three OSP region lieutenants were reviewed to choose the team award winner.
 
The primary responsibility of the OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is enforcement of fish, wildlife, and commercial fishing laws and protection of natural resources. The members of the Fish and Wildlife Division also enforce traffic, criminal, boating, livestock and environmental protection laws in addition to responding to emergency situations.
 
Additional information about the OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is available on our Department web site at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/FW/index.shtml.
 
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