Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards
Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we were not able to hold our 57th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet. We always look forward to honoring those who have exhibited exemplary conservation work in our state--young and old, professional and volunteer--with these prestigious awards, which are the highest natural resource honors given in the state. By recognizing, publicizing, and honoring these conservation heroes, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation shines a bright light on conservation leadership each year to inspire all North Carolinians to take a more active role in protecting the natural resources of our state. Although COVID-19 waylaid last years' banquet, we fully realize and value all the ongoing conservation work being done day in and day out across North Carolina and hope to host it in 2021.
Each year we are pleased to recognize the wildlife and marine patrol officers of the year during the Governor’s Awards program, and this year is no different. The officers of the year are chosen by the respective agencies; all other category winners come from nominations from the public who are evaluated and selected by the Governor’s Awards Committee.
Enforcement of the regulations and rules that guide management of our public trust resources is the foundation for conservation, as without it all the rules adopted are meaningless.
We are pleased to announce and introduce the 2020 officers of the year:
North Carolina Marine Patrol Officer of the Year: BRIAN DEANES
Officer Brian Deanes has served as a Marine Patrol officer for 17 years. He is a certified law enforcement instructor who has undergone extensive training to enhance his capabilities in the field and as a mentor. Officer Deanes shares his expertise with other officers, facilitating regular trainings on field operations and the identification of fish and other species for newer Marine Patrol officers and Wildlife Enforcement officers in his area. Officer Deanes’ jurisdiction includes areas in Pasquotank and Camden counties that have a large amount of commercial crabbing activity, and he is a staunch enforcer of harvest, possession, and sale regulations. He has cited violations of size and creel, crab pot, peeler crab and commercial and dealer license regulations. He has also rendered charges for the illegal use of gill nets in our waters, resulting in fines and the suspension of the permits and licenses of the violators.
North Carolina Wildlife Enforcement Officer of the Year: DARBY D.W. ENOCH
Master Officer Darby Enoch has served the division for eight years and currently patrols in Stanly County. In the summer of 2019, Officer Enoch received a report of an antlered deer that had been shot from the roadway. An investigation revealed that the subject was shooting deer from the roadway, night deer hunting, and trespassing with the use of his moped scooter. In February 2020, Officer Enoch and his colleagues executed a search warrant on the residence of the suspect and seized 25 antlered deer skull plates, seven deer hides, two shot guns with 11 in. barrels, marijuana and methamphetamine pipes, parts of two wild turkeys and deer meat. The antlered deer that was documented from the initial report was also seized. The subject was charged with 82 misdemeanor wildlife violations and three felonies including possession of a weapon of mass destruction and altering/removing serial numbers on a firearm.