15 March 2017 | U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works News Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik to the committee. Mr. Nesvik was testifying before the committee at an oversight hearing on “Examining Innovative Solutions to Control Invasive Species and Promote Wildlife Conservation.”
Chairman Barrasso introduced Mr. Nesvik to the committee prior to his testimony. “I am going to start by introducing Mr. Brian Nesvik, who has been serving since May of 2011 as chief game warden at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and also serves as a colonel in the Wyoming National Guard,” said Barrasso.
“We had the opportunity to be together at Thanksgiving of 2009, in Kuwait. He was deployed as commander of the 2nd 300th Field Artillery unit, the Cowboy Cannoneers, and was running convoy operations into Iraq.
“He also served as the regional wildlife supervisor at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2010 and 2011. Before that, as a game warden for over 15 years in western Wyoming.
“In 2010, he was the Wyoming Game Warden’s Association’s president. He was also honored by the Shikar-Safari Club International as ‘Wildlife Officer of the Year.’ In many of these positions, Mr. Nesvik has accumulated a wealth of experience with wildlife management.
“I hope he will tell us about his extensive experience in balancing the interests of Wyoming, its citizens, and its abundant wildlife to effectively and efficiently address challenges posed to the state by wildlife management. It is a distinct honor to welcome you; I know you have two of your children here. Thank you for joining us at the Environment and Public Works Committee,” said Barrasso.
In his written testimony, Mr. Nesvik highlighted several different innovative technologies that provide creative ways to monitor wildlife activity for conservation efforts.
“New technology has allowed conservation agencies to better protect wildlife and combat poaching,” said Mr. Nesvik.
Mr. Nesvik pointed to ways in which new technologies have proved of value in conservation efforts. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, have allowed conservation law enforcement officers to patrol wildlife habitats efficiently and safely. “With improved capabilities, UAVs could allow conservation officers across the country to patrol critical ranges and waterways where vulnerable and valuable wildlife exist more efficiently than could otherwise be done in a motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, motorboat on horseback or on foot,” said Nesvik.
Mr. Nesvik also detailed the value in new technologies’ ability to identify wildlife violations. GPS tracking devices enable conservation law enforcement officers track animals and can help detect poaching. High-definition cameras and thermal and night-vison optics also support efforts in detecting wildlife violators, as many illegal activities are conducted at night. These technologies also help in nighttime search and rescue operations. New technologies in smart phones, tablets, and computers are also providing valuable real time information to officers out in the field.
Innovative technology has played a vital role in wildlife conservation efforts, and Nesvik stressed the “tremendous potential that exists to improve techniques and tools to more efficiently fulfill our responsibilities to protect, conserve and manage wildlife.”