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Tillamook County Deputy D.A. Receives "2009 Prosecutor of the Year" Award
Captain Jeff Samuels
Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division
(503) 934-0222

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A Tillamook County Deputy District Attorney was selected recently to receive the third presentation of an award to a prosecutor in Oregon for their support, hard work, dedication, and prosecution of those who violate the State's fish and wildlife laws. Sponsored by the Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition, the award was presented July 28, 2010 by the Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) at the Oregon District Attorney Association (ODAA) 2010 Summer Conference in Seaside.
The Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition, which consists of numerous volunteer outdoor enthusiast groups apposed to the unlawful and unethical taking of wildlife, sponsored the "2009 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year" award in partnership with the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division.
Lieutenant Mike Dingeman, representing the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division, and ODFW Director Roy Elicker, presented the award on behalf of the Sportsmen's Coalition to Tillamook County Deputy District Attorney Joel Stevens in front of his peers at the ODAA Conference.
"Mr. Stevens is an advocate for Oregon's fish, wildlife, and natural resources, serving the public through his dedication and persistence in prosecuting those who disobey state laws," said Captain Jeff Samuels, the new Director of the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division. "We sincerely appreciate the coalition's sponsorship of this award and acknowledging the state's prosecutors who work diligently to bring those to justice who blatantly disregard our laws."
OSP nominations from those who work with the Tillamook County District Attorney's Office praised Stevens for his work.
"Mr. Stevens has worked with District Attorney's Office for 1 1/2 years and handles an assortment of criminal cases, but is tasked with the diverse and often complicated job of handling all of the fish and wildlife crimes in Tillamook County," said Trooper Casey Thomas. "What separates Mr. Stevens from other prosecutors is the passion and diligence in which he aggressively pursues poachers and violators. He knows the game laws as well as any field trooper, and understands the impact that one poacher can have on the valuable resources the state has to offer."
One of his notable cases involves the prosecution of an individual who has been violating commercial fishing laws for many years. The case resulted in the guilty conviction and significant restitution to ODFW as well as jail time. The case was taken before the ODFW Commission, who ultimately made the decision to suspend the fisherman's commercial fishing license. It was the first time since 1982 that the ODFW Commission suspended a commercial fishing license.
The Coalition presented Stevens with a wildlife print acknowledging their appreciation for his professional achievement in this area.
The Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition is comprised of numerous volunteer groups including:
Oregon Hunters Association
Oregon Federation for North American Wild Sheep
Izaak Walton League
Oregon Duck Hunters
Oregon Mule Deer Foundation
Oregon State Shooting Association
Safari Club International
Oregon Falconers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
National Rifle Association
Oregon Guides and Packers
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Oregon Bow Hunters
Traditional Archers of Oregon
Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges
The primary responsibility of the OSP Fish and 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.