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Cambridge Conservation Officer Honored

Senior Conservation Officer Rusty Anderson was honored Wednesday evening May 23 as the 2007 Shikar-Safari Club International "Wildlife Officer of the Year" for Idaho.

Anderson has worked for Idaho Fish and Game for nearly nine years, starting his career as a wildlife technician in the Magic Valley Region. He later became a conservation officer in Stanley, and now lives in Cambridge.

Not long after moving to the area, Anderson encountered a sign, "Fish and Game is not welcomed."

Anderson took steps to meet the sign's creator. Soon after, a relationship was developed that resulted in the removal of the sign. His work with youth, landowners and the public turned around the image of Idaho Fish and Game in the community.

His co-workers and supervisors describe him as a "bulldog" while pursuing wildlife criminals, but someone with a passion for youth and his community.

Anderson's ability to build trust with the public and landowners helped him develop the right information to track down and stop three major poaching rings in the Cambridge area during the past few hunting seasons.

His work resulted in more than 60 big game and upland game violations involving 20 key violators, and his attention to detail and thoroughness insured successful prosecution on all three cases.

A co-worker notes the relationship and partnership he has developed with hunters and anglers to insure the future of Idaho's fish and wildlife legacy.

After being checked by Anderson, one Hells Canyon angler wrote:

"I would like you to know what a great job Mr. Anderson is doing protecting salmon. I was recently checked for a license and salmon tag in the presence of my young son. After I explained what Mr. Anderson's job was, my son thought that was probably the best job a [person] could have. He plans on pursuing a career in wildlife management."

Anderson was nominated by enforcement bureau chief Jon Heggen. The award was presented during an Idaho Fish and Game banquet May 23.