Alberta Game Warden Association
The Alberta Game Warden Association, (AGWA), is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Act of Alberta. Its membership is made up of field Fish and Wildlife Officers (Regular members), Officers that have transitioned into management(Associate members), and retired Officers and certain individuals with special recommendation, (Honorary veteran members).
AGWA, initially named the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers Association, was formed in 1973 by a group of officers that had a vision to improve the many facets surrounding the unique game warden career. Much of this can be summarized in the following excerpt from the present day governing by-laws that state the objectives of the Association.
- 2.1 To maintain a professional association of Fish and Wildlife Officers and their supporters, within the Province of Alberta.
- 2.2 To endeavor to secure a greater degree of recognition in the vocations of Members of the Association.
- 2.3 To encourage and promote the professional development of Fish and Wildlife Officers within the Province of Alberta.
- 2.4 To encourage and promote high standards and application of natural resource law enforcement and natural resource management.
- 2.5 To encourage and develop camaraderie and “esprit des corps” among Fish and Wildlife Officers and their supporters, within the Province of Alberta.
- 2.6 To encourage and support personal and professional liaison and co-operation among natural resource law enforcement officers and others involved with managing the natural resources within the Province Alberta.
- 2.7 To encourage and provide opportunity for discussion of common and unique problems facing Fish and Wildlife Officers and their supporters, within the Province of Alberta.
- 2.8 To promote and enhance the image and professional standing of Fish and Wildlife Officers within the Province of Alberta.
- 2.9 To provide encouragement and support to all members in their professional endeavors.
- 2.10 To educate the public at large regarding the issues facing resource law enforcement, the management of natural resources, and/or health of the environment.
So how are these objectives accomplished
Well, some are fairly black and white, while others meld and are carried out together. For example, although we resist the label of being a “social club”, the AGWA generally holds several events each year focused on the objective of developing that camaraderie and “esprit des corps”.
Being true Canadians, hockey tournaments and campouts are regular. We also have had other events such as curling bonspiels, golf and baseball tournaments, sent teams to the International Police and Fire Games and Inter-Provincial hockey tournaments, and we hold Annual General Meetings and Banquets.
However, that camaraderie and esprit des corps also is achieved in many other circumstances, such as when groups of Officers gather, proudly wearing their dress uniforms at a Policeman or RCMP Regimental Ball, at the funeral of a fallen Officer, or at the graduation of new recruits. It is achieved when officers celebrate the successful takedown of a poaching operation. It is achieved when we assemble at the annual North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association, (NAWEOA) conference and spend a week together with game wardens from all over North America. It is achieved when we realize that the young group of hunter education students we just gave a talk to look in awe at you in your uniform. This profession itself is truly self-inspiring and makes one proud to belong to an elite group tasked with such a high responsibility.
As you can see, some of the other objectives have already been flowed into such as educating the public, providing opportunity for discussion of common and unique problems, encouraging and promoting professional liaison and cooperation among natural resource law enforcement officers. Let’s expand on educating the public.
A game warden essentially has the very distinct focus of being an educator to the users of natural resources. Talking to school groups, hunter education classes, Fish and Game clubs, industry, and all the various stakeholders that exist is an obvious and successful approach. However, we also regularly educate folks one at a time in compliance checks. That is simply ensuring those out in the field follow their local resource laws. If violations are encountered, people can be educated with an explanation or verbal warning, some with a written warning, and some need to be charged and given a fine or sent to court. Many different factors influence the decisions made by the field game warden, but in the end, the goal is still education for the individual and consequently educating others to comply as well through a deterrence factor.
One of the most successful tools the AGWA has had in education is the Alberta Game Warden Magazine. Click here to read the very first issue of the Alberta Game Warden published in 1986.
From its humble beginnings the Alberta Game Warden Magazine was published for over 20 years! This Provincial magazine was published with the hard work of many volunteers that made it very successful, and all of the contributors did so on their own time and for the sake of the resources this Province is blessed with. AGWA has now joined forces with our counterparts in Saskatchewan and transitioned into a larger endeavor, a new magazine called the Western Canadian Game Warden Magazine.
The new magazine is an amalgamation of the former Alberta Game Warden, and the Saskatchewan Game Warden magazines. We are also joined in this venture by other jurisdictions that include Manitoba, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and the Yukon. The magazine’s main function is to promote public awareness of environmental and natural resource issues affecting all outdoor enthusiasts that make their home in Western Canada. This magazine presents a forum for discussion of local, national and international environmental issues including government policies, regulations, conservation law enforcement, forensics, case files, and resource management issues.
This new magazine like its past magazines (Alberta and Saskatchewan Game Warden) also acts as a line of communication between western game wardens and the public they continue to serve. Readers will continue to learn how these officers strive daily to protect our fish and wildlife resources. You will find the information in this magazine to be very similar in nature to our past magazine; however it will contain a variety of topics and issues from all corners of the western Provinces. You are encouraged to go to the website, check it out and become a subscriber!
Thank you for visiting our site. If you have any questions or comments please contact us and we will do our best to assist!