CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. (AP) — Nine candidates begin training at Camp Ripley on Wednesday to become Minnesota conservation officers.

The Department of Natural Resources says it’s the state’s first Conservation Officer Academy since 2008. And it comes at a time when 20 of the DNR’s 155 conservation officer field stations are vacant. Most of the nine are sheriff’s deputies or police officers in Minnesota, or conservation officers elsewhere.

The curriculum includes 12 weeks of training in fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation. Graduates spend 16 weeks in field training with a veteran conservation officer before being assigned their first station.

The DNR says a typical work station covers 650 square miles, so conservation officers usually work alone and cover extensive and often remote areas.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (21)
  1. Jill says:

    Tax Payers ——>$$$$$$——>Toilet

    1. Jeff says:

      Are u kidding me?? U don’t think we need to protect our natural resources and enforce the laws related to them. Our state has been shorthanded for DNR enforcement for years….

      These natural resources generate our state a LOT of money…which doesn’t even compare to small price we pay to enforce the laws to protect them!

    2. kevin says:

      another hater that thinks we should tear down Camp Ripley and replace it with a super Walmart right next to the holding tank of nuclear waste that use to be a lake that people fished

  2. politicianSUX says:

    bout time we started to be able to regulate and take care of the millions of acres the DNR keeps buying and taking off the tax rolls.

  3. KEVIN says:

    As long as the money comes from the general fund and not the legacy funds.

  4. Marine 0311 says:

    Are you,kidding me? The DNR is the biggest waste of money, and space.

    1. Bowhunter says:

      The only ones that don’t want adequate DNR enforcement are those that don’t abide by the game and fish laws.

      1. Marine 0311 says:

        Oh, the famous “if you disagree with anything law enforcement does you must be a law breaker, or a criminal.”. Not so, and that lame presumption is getting old. The fish, and game laws are getting to out of control. They raise license fees every year, and why? You sound like a government sheep, but ask yourself this question why should you have to pay the state to be allowed to catch a fish?

        1. Bowhunter says:

          That might be the dumbest thing I’ve heard. Probably because of the money they spend to keep the fish alive and the lakes as clean as possible. Even with these “overregulations” we have lakes being polluted and ruined, and game adn fish struggling……but no let’s just go back to the wild west and let people catch fish, pollute and unmanage land and lakes, and shoot as much game as they want…..then let’s see if things get any better. The lakes would already be a disaster, walleyes would be no more (you probably complained when they made a slot limit which is best thing they’ve ever done), every redneck would be out chasing deer with their trucks and shooting game anytime they wanted (worse than it already is) and our outdoor heritage would be no more. But no, lets just stop government and the DNR and try it your way. Good idea.

          I suppose you send your kids to school and think that should be “free” too? As well as everythign else we’re forced to pay for….

          1. Marine 0311 says:

            Talk about dumb sheep, I absolutely believe in seasons for hunting, and fishing paying for it is want I think is ridiculous. We pay enough taxes to the state that should more than enough to take care of the polluted lakes, and fish. My kids go to private school. I would never subject them to public education. Try again.

            1. Bowhunter says:

              Haha it all makes sense now.

  5. not quite says:

    I frequently encounter dnr at boat ramps and they are a nuisance, time waste for us. Anytime we add more government workers to the rolls with their associated costs and entitlements, that is a bad thing no matter how you allocate them. Where I enounter the DNR, they tend to hover around the law abiders while the wreckless, law breakers are astonishngly not bothered. I this case we could do more with less.

  6. rentacop says:

    WCCO refuses to post my comment but I will try again. For those of you with negative comments about the DNR, please don’t comment on a subject you know nothing about

  7. Royaloak says:

    I believe the article heading is misleading. It should have read, “Minnesota finally replacing conservation officers”. There has been a vacancy isssue in the department and thus causing a safety issue for their staff as well as the public. Welcome aboard staff.

  8. rentacop says:

    Yes, if people would read the article it states that there are 20 vacant stations and these 9 new C.O.’s will help fill those vacant stations.

  9. angelcarver says:

    minnesota needs all the conservation officers it can get. we need the DNR to control the poachers intake of let’s say, over the limit of northerns and all that stuff.

  10. angelcarver says:

    and a lot of northern pike poachers use the excuse that they gave their over the limit of norther pike all away!…way, way too funny.

  11. Mark Trail says:

    No one is advocating nuclear plants in the boundary waters. Take your straw man arguments back to kindergarten.

    The environment IS being protected.

    The DNR is wasting 100’s of millions of dollars on things that DON”T protect the environment.

    That is the issue. Can we get the same level of protection if we cut the agency budget by 50 percent? Yes.

  12. Brett says:

    Oh, yeah… they have to have these people to do the new “roadside inspections” coming this year. I also heard that the DNR replaces it’s vehicle fleet EVERY YEAR (can’t have our DNR officers driving in “used” vehicles). That’s going to play out really well with voters to actually WORK and pay TAXES and LICENSE FEES…..

  13. Real Deal says:

    Marine 0311 talks about wasting of tax payers money…I want my refund for all of his paychecks when he served in the Corps. Baaaaa Sheep.