Conservation Officers and OHRV Safety Instructor Honored
CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division recently recognized the 2013 Officers of the Year and the OHRV Safety Education Instructor of the Year. The honorees are as follows:
◾Conservation Officer Matthew W. Holmes, of Whitefield, N.H. – 2013 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association Officer of the Year
◾Conservation Officer Gregory Jellison of Bath, N.H. – 2013 Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year
◾Ron Shaw of New Hampton, N.H. - OHRV Safety Education Instructors Award
Conservation Officer Matthew Holmes of Whitefield, N.H., earned the 2013 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of the Year Award. Holmes patrols in Dalton, Carroll, Whitefield, Jefferson and several unincorporated townships on the west side of Mount Washington. He has worked at Fish and Game since 2005.
“In 2013, Officer Holmes once again demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and enthusiastic attitude towards his profession that has remained consistent throughout his career,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Col. Martin Garabedian.
A member of the Specialized Search and Rescue Team and a Field Training Officer, Holmes excels at promoting positive public relations and is a top-notch field investigator. “He is a tireless wildlife investigator who takes his job to heart,” said Garabedian. “More importantly, Officer Holmes is a team player and goes out of his way to assist others.”
As a member of the Specialized Search and Rescue Team, Holmes constantly responds at a moment’s notice to hikers in distress. His patrol area encompasses a good portion of the White Mountain National Forest’s Presidential Range, so he is frequently the first officer called to area search and rescue missions. From his years with Fish and Game and as a former employee of the White Mountain National Forest, Holmes has a depth of knowledge of and experience in the White Mountain region.
The Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s Association, also known as CLECA, is an organization made up of Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs from the States of Virginia to Maine, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement and Canadian Provinces. The primary purpose of the Association is to encourage and promote conservation law enforcement cooperation among the eastern states represented. Annually, CLECA recognizes an officer from each state for their outstanding contributions to fish and wildlife protection of our country’s natural resources.
Conservation Officer Gregory Jellison of Bath, N.H., was honored as the 2013 Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year. Patrolling the towns of Bath, Landaff, Easton, Haverhill, Benton, Piermont, Warren and Orford, Jellison has 18 years of experience in New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of New Hampshire.
During the past year, Jellison resolved a number of significant big game cases, obtaining convictions in three separate illegal night hunting incidents. He also investigated the illegal taking of two moose and a black bear, conducting several interviews of witnesses and travelling to New York State to interview the suspect. A confession was obtained from the perpetrator, leading to several high-profile convictions.
Jellison is a member of Fish and Game’s Honor Guard and is a Firearm Instructor and Armorer, a Field Training Officer and a trained Background Investigator. He recently, joined the Dive Team, as well. He is a big proponent of public outreach and singlehandedly mans the booth at the weeklong Haverhill Fair. Jellison also serves on a committee to promote the Operation Game Thief program.
“Officer Jellison has earned the respect of his fellow officers as a tough investigator, a mentor and team player,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Col. Martin Garabedian.
The Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952, as a group of international hunters who joined together to exchange experiences and ideas about hunting. It started as a social hunting organization, but soon recognized its potential to accomplish meaningful goals in the field of conservation. About 1973, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed. Moneys raised by the members of the Shikar-Safari International are used to carry out various conservation projects throughout the world.
Ron Shaw of New Hampton, N.H., was honored as the 2013 OHRV Safety Education Instructor of the Year. A continuous supporter of Fish and Game’s OHRV Safety Education program, Shaw has donated countless hours throughout the year to teach youngsters and adults how to safely enjoy the sport of snowmobiling and OHRV recreation.
“Shaw is a great advocate of getting youngsters and their parents involved in local clubs,” said Captain John Wimsatt, OHRVEducation and Enforcement Coordinator for Fish and Game. “He knows it is not all about the hard work, but also about camaraderie and helping your community.”
Grafton County OHRV Regional Coordinator Marie Hixson met Shaw in 2000 while working on a road construction project and was immediately impressed by his attention to safety. “When I became an OHRV safety instructor, I asked him if he would be interested in teaching with me; he responded withan enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ That was 10 years ago, and in all the time since, he has never said no to a class,” said Hixson.
At age 77, Ron Shaw is a busy man and effective volunteer. He is president of the Bridgewater Mountain Snowmobile Club and is active year-round performing trail construction and maintenance, trail grooming and organizing rides.
“This instructor, and so many other volunteer OHRV safety instructors, are what make our OHRV Safety Program so successful,” said Wimsatt. “We are fortunate to have them on board, and it is a genuine pleasure to present Ron with this well-deserved honor.”
The OHRV Safety Education Instructor of the Year award was created in 2003 in memory of Bud Wool and Jack Willey, who were pioneers in setting the standards of safety education for snowmobiles and OHRVs.