Two conservation law-enforcement officers, or CLEOs, have been hired and a third will soon be on staff with the Directorate of Emergency Services Police Department at Fort McCoy.

The two new personnel include officers Art Casserberg and Jesse Haney. Casserberg started at the post in October and Haney has been part of the installation police force for the past three years.

A CLEO is a law-enforcement officer who protects Fort McCoy's natural resources, said Deputy Police Chief Brian Bomstein. Natural resources are the land, air, water, ground, plants, trees, fish, and wildlife.

A conservation officer checks fishing and hunting licenses and writes citations, or tickets, to people violating conservation laws, regulations, and directives as determined by that officer.

"Our job is about trying to keep a balancing act between working with the public to educate them about how our system works for fishing, hunting, and other recreational activities on post and in supporting the military needs of the troops who train on post," Casserberg said.

On a daily basis, a conservation officer's patrol-assigned areas could be covered by car, boat, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), snowmobile, or on foot to enforce game, fish, or boating laws or to manage wildlife programs, lakes, or land. Conservation officers also protect and preserve native wildlife, plants, or ecosystems through their interpretive enforcement of laws, regulations, and directives.

Also, daily duties of a conservation officer change with the seasons as they are responsible for enforcing and investigating all recreational and regulated activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, ATVing, boating, timber theft, environmental violations, illegally held wildlife, and major recreational vehicle accidents.

Additional responsibilities include responding to injured wildlife calls, natural disasters, and emergencies; attending, teaching, or presenting at hunter-safety classes and events; community meeting attendance, and assisting other law-enforcement agencies when requested.

The overall goal of the CLEO is to protect natural resources to ensure sustainment to help ensure that military units have necessary areas and resources to train to support military readiness, Bomstein said.

For more information about the installation's hunting, fishing, and other outdoor opportunities, go online to the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman page at https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net or call the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337. For more information about police enforcement of regulation and rules requirements, call DES at 608-388-2266 and ask for a conservation warden.

(Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office and the Directorate of Emergency Services Police Department.)