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CO Stattelman to become NW water resource officer

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has promoted conservation officers Joe Stattelman and Tom Pfingsten to the positions of chief pilot and water resource enforcement officer.

"These officers have years of dedicated service to the DNR and the people of Minnesota," said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. "I'm confident they will continue their exemplary work in their new duties."

Stattelman became a conservation officer in 2009 serving in field stations in Mankato and Detroit Lakes before accepting the position of water resource enforcement officer covering northwestern Minnesota. His DNR training and experiences include use of force instructor, firearms instructor, field training officer and wildfire arson investigator.

Water resource enforcement officers focus on wetland protection and invasive species education and enforcement. Their daily work includes contact with user groups of boating, angling, and commercial resources in checking for compliance with invasive species laws, and with landowners, contractors, local government units, and homeowners in the application and enforcement of the Wetland Conservation Act.

Stattelman will be promoted to second lieutenant and begin his new duties Dec. 5.

Pfingsten, whose interest in flying began while growing up near the Crystal Airport and serving in the Marine Corps, has spent the past 26 years as a law enforcement officer, including the last nine with the DNR as a conservation officer/pilot.

Most flying done by the DNR Enforcement pilots is resource management "survey and census" missions, locating and counting wildlife from the air, or locating radio-collared wildlife using aerial telemetry.

Pfingsten was promoted to the rank of captain and began his new duties Nov. 7.