CHEYENNE - Since 1980 the program has worked pretty much the same: witness or hear about a wildlife crime, report it by calling toll-free – anonymously if you choose – and receive a cash reward if the information leads to a conviction.
Now, Wyoming’s Stop Poaching program has a new logo and slogan: “Help us Stand Watch.” When you see the silhouette of a game warden hand cuffing “stop poaching,” it portrays the fact that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wildlife Protector’s Association are committed more than ever to working with Wyoming’s citizens to help bring wildlife violators to justice.
“’Help us Stand Watch’ sends a clear message that a large number of wildlife law enforcement successes in Wyoming have relied heavily on reports from the public,” said Brian Nesvik, chief game warden for the Game and Fish Department. “With a new face to the program and publicity campaign, we hope to remind Wyoming’s citizens how important they are in our law enforcement effort. Additionally we want to celebrate their great participation over the years.”
The Stop Poaching Hotline remains the same at (877) WGFD-TIP or (877) 943-3847 and is answered around the clock at state law enforcement dispatch in Cheyenne.
Since 1980, the Stop Poaching Hotline has generated more than 7,300 calls resulting in “workable” cases. Nearly 4,100 of those cases were investigated and brought to a close. On average, around 25 percent of the calls result in a conviction.
Nesvik reports through 2011, prosecutions that began with a Stop Poaching call resulted in violators paying more than $1.5 million in fines and many thousands in restitution.
“In addition, reporting parties in those cases that resulted in convictions, received more than $210,000 in cash rewards from the Wyoming Wildlife Protector’s Association,” he said.
The association generates reward funds from private donations and from the criminals themselves, when the judge orders a donation as part of the sentence. The board decides when a reward is offered and the amount up to $5,000.
“In further tribute to the concerned citizens that make this program work, many rewards are turned down by the reporting parties,” Nesvik said.
The new logo was designed by the Game and Fish’s Jaimel Blajszczak and will be featured on billboards, promotional materials and department publications.
“Our cast of outstanding wildlife law enforcement officers will continue to need your help, so please call our stop poaching hotline to report wildlife violations, anytime – day or night,” Nesvik said.
(Contact: Brian Nesvik (307) 777-4600)