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For Release: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

National Wild Turkey Federation Honors Western NY Environmental Conservation Officer

ECO Nathaniel Mead Named 2015 Officer of the Year

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) named New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Nathaniel Mead the "2015 New York Officer of the Year," Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"ECO Mead demonstrates true commitment to protecting our state's natural resources and is a valuable asset to DEC's Division of Law Enforcement," Acting Commissioner Seggos said. "By investigating and enforcing violations, educating our youth and serving with integrity, he and DEC's other committed ECOs perform valuable services that benefit our environment and our community."

ECO Mead patrols Cattaraugus County where he handles numerous cases involving fish and game law, natural resource protection and public safety. This past spring, his abilities were highlighted in a challenging case that involved the illegal bating of wild turkeys. After receiving an anonymous tip with limited information, ECO Mead worked to uncover and eliminate a longstanding illegal turkey hunting practice, helping to protect state management efforts for this important game species.

"DEC's Environmental Conservation Officers are on the front line daily in their efforts to protect our wildlife, natural resources and citizens," said DEC Law Enforcement Director Joseph Schneider. "ECO Mead has demonstrated outstanding service and I extend my congratulations to him on this well-deserved honor."

During his career in Region 9, ECO Mead has worked collaboratively with law enforcement agencies and officers throughout Cattaraugus County. Prior to assignment in Region 9, ECO Mead patrolled areas of Long Island and the Adirondacks. During his law enforcement career, he has logged over 200 hours of Active Shooter Training and serves as a Federal Active Shooter Instructor. He is also certified as a Defensive Tactics, Physical Training and Firearms Instructor.

ECO Mead was presented with the Officer of the Year award at NWTF's Annual Awards Banquet held in Waterloo earlier this month. NWTF is a half-million-member grassroots, non-profit organization with members in all 50 states, Canada and 11 foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands and wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport. NWTF annually recognizes an officer who has demonstrated outstanding service and contributed significantly to conservation law enforcement.

In his spare time, ECO Mead enjoys hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather and skiing and boating. He resides in South Dayton, Cattaraugus County.

Photos available upon request.

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