NH Fish and Game Promotes Saunders

Colebrook News and Sentinel

May 1, 2013

Editors Note:  The WMRR club was asked by Sgt. Saunders in 2011 to raise funds for an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for southern Coos County.  The club agreed and he then worked along with club members for 18 months to raise those funds and the ERV was put into service last fall.  WMRR congratulates Lt. Saunders on his promotion and we hope he gets out from behind his new desk once in a while to come back and visit our club.

In a ceremony at its Concord headquarters on April 25, the N.H. Fish and Game promoted Wayne Saunders of Stark to the rank of lieutenant. He has since assumed the duties of District One chief, supervising a working unit of conservation officers assigned to Cos and Grafton counties.

Former District One chief Lt. Douglas Gralenski has retired from Fish and Game, and will continue to assist the department as a deputy conservation officer. "Lt. Saunders has a number of specialized talents he brings to this position, and we consider ourselves fortunate that he has taken on this new and exciting challenge," said Col. Martin Garabedian, chief of Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division.

Lt. Saunders has been employed as a conservation officer for the past 18 years. After graduating from the State University of New York in 1988 with an associate degree in fisheries and wildlife technology, he began his law enforcement career with the National Parks Service as Law Enforcement Ranger in West Virginia, Wisconsin and Virginia.

He joined N.H. Fish and Game in 1995, and after his first year of training was assigned to the patrol area covering Colebrook, Stewartstown, Columbia and Dixville. In 2001, Wayne transferred to his present patrol area in Stark, Odell, Dummer, Milan and Kilkenny. He was promoted to the post of District One sergeant in 2008.

Lt. Saunders has been or is still a Field Training Officer, a trained background investigator, a member of the Critical Incident Stress Team, and a defensive tactics instructor.

"Along with the duties and responsibilities faced by all conservation officers in the field, Wayne has always willingly taken on responsibilities above and beyond the regular call of duty," said Col. Garabedian. "He has demonstrated great success in the areas of Major Case Investigations and OHRV and ATV accident investigations, and his fund-raising abilities are second to none."

In recent years, Lt. Saunders has raised more than $90,000 in private donations for equipment including a track-driven rescue UTV (with rescue sled and enclosed heated trailer), a boat and trailer for District One, a trailer to be outfitted for use as a traveling Operation Game Thief exhibit, and cell phone boosters for several North Country agencies to aid in search and rescue.

In 2003, he received the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association Award. He will receive another honor on May 8, as he has been selected as the New Hampshire's Shikar-Safari Club's 2012 International Wildlife Officer of the Year.

"Wayne is a capable leader who cares about the officers he works with," said Col. Garabedian. "His fair and professional approach has earned him the respect of the public he serves."

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