Education and Outreach
Stewards of California's Resources
Game Wardens are on the front line of the battle to protect wildlife and habitat across California. Most Wardens patrol alone, frequently in remote areas with very distant backup and limited communications. Wardens routinely confront armed suspects throughout the state. Besides their traditional roles apprehending 'poachers', Wardens commonly find themselves dealing with main-stream law enforcement contacts throughout the state.
The role of a Game Warden began as a true steward of natural resources, and they continue to proudly serve that role. Whether at sea, in the moutains and valleys, or in the air, Game Wardens serve a vital role in the enforcement community of California. In fact, they serve many diverse constituents across many controversial enforcement topics.
Firearm Safety & Hunter Education
Part of Game Wardens' role as law enforcement professionals specializing in resource protection is to foster safe firearm-users and new hunters in California. Each year, Game Wardens teach nearly 30,000 new hunters through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Hunter Education program.
All Game Wardens are Hunter Education Instructors. Game Wardens cultivate new hunters, safe & knowledgable firearm users, and outdoor enthusiasts through Hunter Education by teaching firearm safety, environmental ethics, and pure enjoyment of California's valuable natural resources.
Wardens are able to share their passion for all things wild, and their training and experience with activities like wildlife viewing, identification, tracking, and habitat interactions. These activities are becoming very popular among our non-consumptive resource users as well, and our State offers many opportunities for these activities. Coincidentally, these are some of the fundamental building blocks of our traditional activities, like ethical and skillful hunting and fishing, Wardens are proud to help teach to each new generation. Facilitating knowledge and understanding of fish, wildlife, and habitat laws promotes ethical resource users, which is one reason for and one mission of Game Wardens around the world.
California's Thin Green Line...
Nature is built around balance. As prey species increase, the risks of overpopulation, disease, and habitat destruction increase. The balance of Nature allows predator populations to follow the cycle of their prey species. In this way, as prey species populations begin to outpace their habitat and available forage, predators serve to regulate their prey populations. With increased feed and survival of predators, more prey are killed and consumed. While the prey species population decreases over time, their predator populations follow.
Recreational hunting and fishing are predicated upon sound managment regimes, and take advantage of the harvestable excess in desired species populations. Game Wardens proudly serve their state and their communities by investigating, apprehending and deterring those who choose to take unfair advantage of California's valuable natural resources: victims that otherwise have no voice and cannot testify before Judges, Juries, and Prosecutors.
Game Wardens face many challenges -- armed constituents, complex laws/regs and investigations, and sometimes conflicting interests between consumptive and non-consumptive resource users in California. California's wildlife and habitats cannot endure as Game Wardens continue to face relatively low salaries and lack of dedicated funding in California.W