Environmental Conservation Police Officer Honored - The Fisherman

Environmental Conservation Police Officer Honored

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Steven Shaw was honored with the Wildlife Officer of the Year Award from the Shikar-Safari Club International.

“On behalf of DEC, congratulations to ECO Shaw on this well-deserved recognition of his dedication to protecting our natural resources and holding those who break New York’s environmental conservation laws accountable,” Commissioner Seggos said. “As this year’s Shikar-Safari Club International ‘Wildlife Officer of the Year,’ ECO Shaw is a shining example of the tireless efforts DEC’s Law Enforcement Officers undertake each and every day to ensure New York’s environment is protected for generations to come.”

Shikar-Safari International Club was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport and promoting ethical hunting of big game animals. Each year, the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Conservation Police Officer of the Year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and territories of both US. And Canada, acknowledging the important role ECOs play in local, national, and international wildlife conservation.

ECO Shaw earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Purdue University in 1993, and a master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Indiana University in 1996. Shaw did not pursue his dream of becoming an ECO until he entered the 15th Basic Training Academy at the age of 32 in the early 2000s. His goal to become an ECO dates back to his childhood when he was fishing on the Hudson River with his father and grandfather in the town of Moreau, Saratoga County. A man in a green canoe quickly appeared and approached the trio asking if they were having any luck catching fish. The man also checked his father and grandfather’s fishing licenses, looked at and measured the walleye they had on a stringer, and talked to them about fishing the Hudson River in general. It wasn’t until the man left that Shaw’s father explained that the man was a local game warden, responsible for making sure people were hunting and fishing legally. This interaction stuck with Shaw and eventually led him to his career at DEC.

ECO Shaw has served as an officer for 18 years in Saratoga County in DEC’s Region 5. In 2020 alone, he responded to approximately 300 calls for service, from catching poachers and enforcing fish and wildlife laws to assisting with the hunter education programs at the county’s Fish and Game clubs and the county fair. In addition, ECO Shaw is credited with single-handedly developing a fishing clinic for special needs children in his area, which he has hosted for the past 10 years.

ECO Shaw spends much of his spare time outdoors fly fishing out west, brook trout fishing in remote Adirondack ponds in his canoe, ice fishing local lakes, and hiking in the Adirondacks. He’s often joined on these outdoor adventures by his sons Hudson, 15, and Jackson, 12, as well as his girlfriend Lisa. Shaw and Hudson became 46ers this year and are now working on their Winter 46.