The 18 cadets were sworn in to be wildlife officers in an auditorium full of family, outdoor enthusiasts and conservation organizations. The cadets had just recently finished their 30 weeks of rigorous training for the position.
California tradition includes having conservation organizations attend the ceremony and present awards, congratulate the cadets on their accomplishments and thank them for their future work in natural resource conservation.
Krista Modlin, NWTF district biologist for California, Oregon and Washington, and Dawnita Harwood, NWTF California State Chapter President, attended the event to show the NWTF’s support.
“It was an honor to be part of this year’s graduation for CDFW’s Academy Class 65,” Modlin said. “Our mission is to conserve healthy habitats and provide healthy harvests through conservation work, education and outreach. Game wardens are on the ground and in the field, accomplishing these same goals. On behalf of the entire NWTF, I thank them for their dedication to the things we cherish.”
The NWTF sponsored the Top Report Writer of the class and presented the recipient with a limited NWTF knife.
Several other conservation organizations sponsored awards for the cadets, including Top Cadet, Outstanding Performance-Arrest and Control (sponsored by California Waterfowl Association); Outstanding Performance- Crime Scenarios (sponsored by Wardens Association); Top Athlete (sponsored by the Warden Race Team); and the Top Duck (sponsored by Ducks Unlimited). The Greg Cook Award and Most Outstanding Award were presented by CDFW instructors.
The ceremony closed with the badge-pinning and the swearing-in of the officers. Family members lined up along the stage to pin on the badge of their loved ones.
This was the first time in two years that CDFW was able to host an in-person graduation ceremony due to COVID-19.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final year of the initiative.