Disconnect with Director of FWP and Montana Wardens Seen Through Audit
By Dan Pickar
A recent audit revealed that Montana Game Wardens feared retaliation if they spoke out against the Director of FWP. Apparently the director and Montana Game Wardens collectively had different views on what the role is of a Montana Game Warden. Over the past five years the Director emphasized that there needs to be more of a “cop” role by game wardens when it comes to dealing with things such as, drinking and drug use on public lands. Where wardens believe they have more of a “working with landowners” and “interacting with the public” responsibility. It was also reported through the audit that half the wardens believed they suffered retaliatory measures and intimidation by the division’s chief office in the last five years.
The Director of FWP welcomed and accepted all recommendations from the audit and praised the work by Montana’s wardens. He also pointed out that the role of a Montana Warden has changed a bit in the last five years because of the rapid growth in the state and particularly around the Bozeman area. He also commented that he wants Montana’s wardens to be trained to handle any type of situation that they might encounter.
In closing I will say, game wardens no doubt have very difficult jobs, arguably the toughest job in any law enforcement position. I personally commend wardens for doing what they do in the ever-changing, crazy world that we live in.