The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today honored Assistant Chief John Baker of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with the Guy Bradley Award for his 28 years of service to California’s citizens, fish and wildlife. Established to honor the first United States wildlife law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in Florida in 1905, the Guy Bradley Award seeks to recognize extraordinary individuals who have made an outstanding lifetime contribution to wildlife law enforcement, wildlife forensics or investigative techniques.
The award was presented to Baker at a ceremony held in Seaside in front of half the state’s wildlife officers. Baker was chosen from a list of extraordinary nominees from across the country, and he is the first nominee from California to win the award.
To the 50 officers he directly supervises and the rest of the state’s law enforcement division, Baker is one of the most highly respected wildlife officers serving the people of California today. Baker spent the majority of his career in the southern San Joaquin Valley, where he developed a passion for catching poachers and for working in cooperation with fish and wildlife conservation organizations in the region for the betterment of fish, wildlife and the habitats on which they depend.
Baker also spearheaded an effort that began in the mid-2000s to quantify environmental impacts associated with illegal marijuana cultivation. He was one of the first law enforcement leaders to move beyond rooting out illegal and often dangerous marijuana operations and to commit the resources necessary to remediate the contaminated sites the growers left behind. Remediation of these sites has become common practice today among CDFW and allied law enforcement agencies.
Baker began his career with the department in 1987 as a student assistant and later attended the warden academy. After 28 years of wildlife law enforcement, Baker remains enthusiastic about going to work every day.
“I’ve got a few years left in my career,” he said. “I hope to continue to honor Guy Bradley’s memory and this very special award.”
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most complex conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (530) 523-6720
Rob Blumenthal, NFWF, Communications, (202) 595-2457