- Associated Press - Monday, June 6, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is making a major change in the way it hires conservation wardens.

Until now, roughly 200 wardens were uncertain about where they would land after completing the academy and field training. Starting with the class of 2017, candidates will now be able to apply for specific DNR stations around the state instead of waiting for an assignment at the end of their training.

“I didn’t know where I was going. I went to Genoa and I had no clue about Genoa,” says DNR Regional Warden Ben Treml. “Fortunately I was single, I reported there, it was a really neat station to start out a career, but had I had a family with a wife and kids it would have been very challenging,”

Dale Romback, stationed in Wausaukee, remembers plenty of uncertainty in his warden class of 2015, WBAY-TV (https://bit.ly/1TW8Mhc ) reported.

“Probably about seven months of that talk, until we actually found out - from the day we got hired January 12, 2015, to when we found out, I want to say mid-September - it was constantly on our minds of where we were going,” says Romback.

“It was really difficult on recruits, families, trying to get kids in school systems, buying houses,” Treml added.

The DNR’s policy change follows interviews with past job-seekers.

“Number one reason why they dropped out is they did not know where they were going to get stationed and we have lots of opportunities with other law enforcement agencies and educated people that would love to be wardens, but just can’t afford the move,” said Treml. That made it difficult to recruit potential employees with families, he said.

The deadline to apply for the warden class of 2017 is June 29.

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Information from: WBAY-TV, https://www.wbay.com


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