Several Unity College-trained wardens were recognized for exceptional merit by the Maine Warden Service recently.

Exemplary Service Awards went to Warden Ethan Buuck ‘10, of Mount Vernon; Sgt. Aaron Cross ’07, of Morrill; Warden Dave Ross ‘06, of China; Warden Kevin Anderson ‘96, of Eddington; Warden Eric Rudolph ‘06, of Ellsworth; Investigator Bill Livezey ‘87, of Sherman; and Warden Andrew Smart ‘09, of Ashland.

A certificate for exemplary service is presented when a warden “has rendered relevant, outstanding service which deserves special recognition.”

According to the Maine Warden Service, Buuck was lauded for his role in the rescue of a lost snowmobiler; Anderson for aiding a long-term investigation that led to more than 50 charges; Rudolph for helping rescue a man on Phillips Lake in Dedham; Livezey for investigating an incident of illegal guiding for deer and sale of bear parts involving 50 defendants in southern Maine; and Smart for his role saving the life of a suicidal young man in Ashland.

Cross also was recognized with the Operation Game Thief Guardian Award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to prevent illegal hunting.

The Unity alums cited for exceptional work are no strangers to the accolades. In 2015, Exemplary Service Awards went to Cross and Ross, while Ross and Rudolph earned Maine Warden Service Association Special Recognition Awards, which were among more than a dozen Unity-trained wardens who were cited for exceptional work that year.

“When you see shows like ‘North Woods Law’ on TV, that’s real life for many of our Conservation Law Enforcement graduates,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “Our people work to protect the environment in the worst weather, remotest countryside, and in some of the most adverse situations. It takes that kind of fortitude and dedication to be a graduate of the Unity College Conservation Law Enforcement program, and we see that in these esteemed wardens. Our goal is to leverage the tireless efforts of our faculty so that we have graduates working as wardens in all fifty states.”

Unity faculty say the growing history of award-winning conservation law enforcement work by Unity alums underlines the value of a Unity College training for youths interested in protecting America’s vast but vulnerable protected areas.

“We are very proud of our alumni,” said Zach Falcon, Assistant Professor of Conservation Law and Environmental Policy. “Since its founding in 1972, Unity’s conservation law enforcement program has set the standard of excellence in the field.  These graduates stand tall in that tradition.”

The wardens were recognized at a ceremony at the Winslow Veterans of Foreign Wars post that celebrated the 136th anniversary of the warden service in Maine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016