Minnesota Conservation Officer Ed Picht, who died last October, has been named the Turn in Poachers 2018 Joe Alexander Conservation Officer of the Year.
A conservation officer since 2007, Picht patrolled the Montevideo area in western Minnesota for 11 years. Members of his family accepted the award – named in honor of former conservation officer and DNR Commissioner Joe Alexander – during a recent ceremony. The award is presented annually to an officer who best represents the TIP mission during the course of duty.
Picht’s colleagues say his passion for protecting Minnesota’s natural resources was contagious and motivated people to report potential game and fish violations to TIP. And when TIP calls were received, he investigated each one the same way – with 100 percent of his effort and focus.
"Ed exemplified what TIP is all about," said Jim Persson, TIP interim executive director. "We’re proud to honor his memory with this award."
An enthusiastic TIP supporter, Picht built relationships throughout his community and was widely respected for the dedication, fairness and honesty he displayed as a conservation officer. He believed those personal relationships and spreading the word about TIP by working with the media and making use of the Wall of Shame would encourage people help their local officer.
"People were comfortable making TIP reports to Ed because they knew he was after the same thing they were – to ensure Minnesota’s people and resources were protected," said Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. "Ed poured his heart and soul into being a conservation officer and is a very deserving recipient of this award."
TIP is a nonprofit organization that cooperates with DNR Enforcement to encourage the public to report natural resource violations. TIP provides rewards to people who provide information that leads to arrests of game and fish law violators. The TIP line is 800-652-9093, or #TIP for most cell phone users. For more information, log on to mndnr.gov/enforcement/tip.html.