The Alberta Game Warden Association is proud to recognize the Fish and Wildlife Officers who have been recipients for awards of distinction.

Awards of Valor

John Clarke

On June 17, 2001 Fish and Wildlife officer John Clarke was out with friends and family enjoying the day at Chinook Lake in the Crowsnest Pass, when he heard cries for help. It was learned later that a young man apparently “believed” he could swim across the high Mountain Lake that mid-June day; only to reach about the halfway mark. The frigid water soon became too much for him to endure and he began to founder. Sarah, a friend of the young man, responded to the cries for help and began to swim out to help her friend; John followed closely behind. Sarah too, soon fatigued and was unable to complete her rescue. On that June day, John not only completed the life-saving rescue of the drowning man; he pulled Sarah safely to shore as well. John’s actions that day showed true heroism – without regard for his own wellbeing, he willingly placed his own life in peril to save the lives of two strangers he met first in the cold waters of Chinook Lake.

Allan Farrants

Allan Farrants received some much disserved newspaper coverage for a selfless act of heroism in dealing with a sexual offender in the Kinsmen Field House area of Edmonton. As details of the early morning encounter came to light we learned that late last year a sexual predator had knocked down a young lady while out for her morning jog. The man was in the process of preparing to assault her further, when Al heard her calls for help. Al, who also frequently jogs in the area during the early morning hours, arrived on the scene none too soon. After physically confronting the assailant, the woman was freed without enduring any additional harm beyond the injuries she sustained in her own battle with the offender. The woman was sent to get help while the would-be-rapist was forced to remain on the scene, subdued by the ex-Fish and Wildlife officer, until Edmonton City Police dog patrol arrived. Members of the Edmonton City Police Service then took over the arrest of Robin Stoney, a man who had just been released from prison/remand center for similar actions. “The good Lord puts certain people into our lives for varying reasons and puts the right people in the right place at the right time. Al Farrants was in the right place at the right time and in many peoples’ eyes, he is a Hero.” Dennis Urban.  Al suffered bruises and a broken finger in the battle, but managed still to keep Stoney at the scene for nearly three-quarters of an hour until help arrived.

Officer of the Year

The Alberta Game Warden Association, (AGWA), and the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, (FWEB), of Justice and Solicitor General are pleased to partner in recognizing the individual Fish and Wildlife Officer employed by the Branch who is selected by his or her peers as deserving of recognition for high standards of work and dedication.

A selection committee will evaluate nomination based on one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Contribution to fish and wildlife law enforcement or other aspects of a Fish and Wildlife Officer’s role.
  2. Exceptional leadership, skills, or ingenuity in the performance of their duty.
  3. Outstanding personal contribution or achievement significantly exceeding job expectations or requirements.
  4. Demonstrate commitment or performance over an extended period of time, or for more than one project or occurrence.
  5. Accomplishments that bring measurable and significant benefit to the Association and/or the Division.
  6. Contributions and service to their community.

The AGWA and FWEB will present the Officer of the Year awards to officers selected as most deserving from those nominations received by the selection committee. The Officer of the Year will receive the Shikar-Safari International Officer of the Year Award. Finally, the FWEB will submit the name of the Alberta’s Officer of the Year to the Western Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies as Alberta’s nominee for the Pogue-Elms Award.

Nominations must be for an individual (this is not a group award) and should be typed and submitted by electronic version. Nominations should be comprehensive and provide as much detail as the nominator feels is necessary to enable the selection committee to assess the nomination relative to the award criteria as set out above. No nominations should be forwarded to the award selection committee by January 31 of each year.

The nomination packages will be available for review by all eligible officers who then have opportunity to submit one vote for whom they feel is most deserving. The results of the vote will be taken into consideration by the selection committee.

  2021 - Mike Ewald   2022 - John Elias
  2020 - Kelly Moran   2009 - Dave Barrett 1994 - Sharie Heschl
  2019 - Chris Watson   2008 - Greg Kondas 1993 - Stan Hawes
  2018 - Andy Nestorovich   2007 - Jim Mitchell 1992 - Kevin Stalker
  2017 - Shane Ramstead   2006 - Steve Cross 1991 - Bill Peters
  2016 - Christopher Kelly   2005 - Steve Carlson 1990 - Earl Dodsworth
  2015 - Kyland Pennoyer   2004 - Greg Stolz 1989 - Stan Markham
  2014 - Robert Matsuba   2003 - Richard Servetnyk 1988 - Milt Mckee
  2013 - Corey Craig   2002 - Matt McCorquodale 1987 - Daniel Boyco
  2012 - Lyle Lester   2001 - Norman Backer 1984 - John Doonanco
  2011 - Adam Mirus   2000 - Quentin Isley 1983 - J. Gerald Pelchat
  2010 - Darren Unreiner   1996 - Jason Hanson 1982 - Martin Paetz

Wise Award Recognizing Conservation Excellence Officers Award

The W.I.S.E. awards recognize outstanding achievement and commitment in the area of conservation education and resource management.

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors' Association and the Conservation Education W.I.S.E. Foundation created the W.I.S.E Awards. Both of these charitable foundations exist solely for the purpose of helping Albertans learn about Alberta's wildlife and the contribution that wildlife makes to the quality of our lives in Alberta. The goal is to make wildlife part of the value system of all Albertans.

2015 - John Clarke 2008 - Todd Ponich 2005 - Jason Hanson
2011 - Pat Dunford - Public Service Conservation Award 2007 - Dave Dickson 2004 - Kelly Wilson
2011 - Mike Ewald - Fish and Wildlife Officer Conservatgion Award 2006 - Ed Pirogowicz 2003 - Lyle Lester

Bull Trout Conservation Award

1996/1997 - Quentin Isley 1995/1996 - Shane Ramstead

NAWEOA Region 1 Torch Award

Presented annually, to an officer from each region, to encourage the professional development of recently appointed officers. Selection criteria is as follows: Both nominating and nominated officers must be regular NAWEOA members.

Nominated officer must not have worked as a wildlife enforcement officer more than five years. Must have demonstrated a genuine desire to protect the resource and develop professionally. Has demonstrated exceptional ability and initiative in the performance of his or her duties, including public education.

Must be respected by his/her peers and the public. Nominations must be received by April 15th each year, Winners will be notified by May 1st. Awards will be presented at annual conference; attendance encouraged but not mandatory. NOTE: This award is adjudicated by and presentations made on behalf of retired officers.

2014 - Scot Kallweit