Senior conservation officer Jim Stirling of the Magic Valley Region has been named the Pogue-Elms law enforcement officer of the year by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Stirling has worked as a conservation officer for Idaho Fish and Game since 2003.
The award recognizes a wildlife enforcement officer from among WAFWA's 23 states and Canadian provinces for their contributions to fish and wildlife law enforcement, leadership, skill, ingenuity and applied technology in their duty, and whose contributions brought credit to their agency and the field of wildlife enforcement.
Stirling was recognized as a tenacious investigator with a tireless work ethic, always striving for excellence.
"I cannot count how many times I have heard him say, ÔThere has to be a better way,' or ÔWe can do better,'" district conservation officer Josh Royse said in his letter nominating Stirling for the award.
Most notable is his selfless effort to secure grants and funding outside of normal budgeting process to develop Idaho Fish and Game's first K-9 program. Stirling and Pepper, Fish and Game's black lab K-9, have already proven themselves as a valuable resource with successes in finding hidden evidence, discarded firearms and ammunition, and most importantly, a lost child.
Stirling also serves as a field training officer, a department instructor, and he is a tremendous ambassador of fish and wildlife management to his community.
The award is named in the memory of two Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers, Bill Pogue and Conley Elms, who gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting Idaho's wildlife resource.