REGION – Senior Warden Rich Watkin, Ph.D., of Wilmington is Vermont’s State Game Warden of the Year. Watkin received the award in recognition of his excellent service from Governor Phil Scott on May 24 in Montpelier.
Lt. Greg Eckhardt, Watkin’s supervisor, praised him for his exemplary attitude and dedication to the job. “Rich is knowledgeable in all aspects of the job,” said Eckhardt. “He understands the intricacies of fish and wildlife law and has an excellent working knowledge of the wildlife and habitats common to his patrol district.”
“Rich is professional, polite, hardworking, dependable, honest and always willing to help others whenever asked. He is highly regarded by his peers and is a great asset to both the Fish and Wildlife Department and the State of Vermont,” added Eckhardt.
“Warden Watkin represents so many of the things that makes our warden force the professional and well-respected institution that it is,” said Commissioner Louis Porter. “He goes out of his way to serve his community, from teaching kids at the local elementary school about wildlife to giving free snowmobile rides to disabled children.”
Warden Watkin’s district includes the towns of Stratton, Somerset, Dover, Searsburg, Wilmington, Stamford, Readsboro, and Whitingham.
Shikar-Safari Club International, a private wildlife conservation group, sponsors a warden of the year award in each state and Canadian province to help promote and encourage the enforcement of wildlife conservation laws. Watkin received a colorful framed certificate honoring his selection as Vermont’s State Game Warden of the Year, provided by Shikar-Safari Club International.