Griebel

Iowa State Conservation Officer Steve Griebel, assigned to Woodbury County, has been awarded the 2018 Waterfowl Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Flyway Law Enforcement Council of states and Canadian provinces. This is the first time the award has been won by an Iowa conservation officer. Griebel, a Bellevue native, was recognized for his contributions in waterfowl education, wetland protection, youth waterfowling, participation with waterfowling organizations and his enforcement activity. He will receive the award at the Flyway Council’s meeting in August in Duluth, Minn. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa DNR).

Steven Griebel, Bellevue native and Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, was named 2018 Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Flyway Law Enforcement Council.

Griebel was selected from a field of candidates throughout the entire flyway, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

This is the first time an Iowa DNR conservation officer has won this prestigious award. Griebel will be formally recognized at the Flyway Council’s meeting in August in Duluth, Minnesota.

He won with the highest number of first place votes ever recorded for the Officer of the Year award.

Griebel was recognized for his contributions in waterfowl education, wetland protection, youth waterfowling, participation with waterfowling organizations and his enforcement activity. He spends a great deal of time interacting with hunters in the field, answering their many questions involving season and zone setting criteria, Iowa DNR wetland management strategies, waterfowl habits, offering advice on how to be a more successful hunter, and routinely helps hunters find birds with his dog enhancing the department’s image.

He organizes and oversees the Waterfowl School for new officers and works alongside local biologists and other conservation agencies to restore wetland areas. He spends time recruiting young hunters into the sport of waterfowling and instilling a love for the activity. He often loans his own personal decoys, shells, dog training supplies, boats and blinds to young hunters.

By far his largest impact on local youth has been his mentored hunt and youth waterfowl challenge, DNR officials said.

Griebel has developed a handicapped accessible waterfowl blind and is working with the local Ducks Unlimited Chapter, DNR wildlife management staff, and county conservation board to fundraise and implement the structure. He maintains a proactive and balanced law enforcement program which includes spending a great deal of time educating hunters about regulations. His efforts maximize and improve the positive opportunities available to hunters in Iowa and ensure that the hunting heritage continues to be supported and enjoyed by future generations.

“We are extremely proud of his efforts to protect and enhance the habitat for migratory game birds making for a rich environment and quality hunting opportunities,” said DNR Law Enforcement Bureau Chief Jeff Swearngin. “Steve’s commitment not only to the resource but introducing youth to waterfowl hunting is impressive. It is humbling to see that his peers and leaders in the area recognize and applaud him for his efforts as well.”

Griebel has been working in conservation law enforcement for nearly 20 years. He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1996 and began his career in the state and county park systems providing safe outdoor recreation and enforcing fish and game laws, as well as protecting timber, prairie, and wetland ecosystems.

Since joining the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau in 2007, Griebel has worked tirelessly to protect and promote the waterfowl resource. A life-long waterfowl hunter, he recognizes the balance of recruiting and educating new hunters, protecting waterfowl producing habitat, providing hunting opportunity, dedicating personal time to enhancing the resource, and holding those who seek to abuse our natural resources accountable.

The Mississippi Flyway Council was organized in 1952 and contains representatives from each state and provinces listed above, that have management responsibilities for migratory bird resources in the Flyway.

The Council was established to coordinate the management of migratory game birds in the Mississippi Flyway and to promote those activities of its members that serve the long-term benefit to the resources as and the Flyway as a whole.