Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, or VDGIF, regulates fish and wildlife in Virginia. It is managed by the Director of Game and Inland Fisheries and overseen by the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.
VDGIF's goals are to:
- Manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish;
- Maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
- Provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation;
- Work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
- Promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; and
- Provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.
The Director of Game and Inland Fisheries has the power to:
- Enforce all laws for the protection, propagation and preservation of game birds, game animals, and inland fish of the Commonwealth,
- Initiate prosecution of all persons who violate such laws,
- Seize and confiscate wild birds, wild animals and fish that have been illegally killed, caught, transported or shipped,
- Employ persons necessary for the administrative requirements of the Board and to designate the official position and duties of each,
- Collaborate with the federal government on fish and wildlife projects,
- Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of his duties and the execution of his powers.
Law Enforcement Division
The law enforcement officers of VDGIF carry the official title of Conservation Police Officer. The official title was Game Warden prior to July 1, 2007. Conservation police officers from the Law Enforcement Division of VDGIF have full police powers but focus on enforcing Virginia's wildlife and boating laws in the state's numerous fields, forests, and waterways. Usually a single officer is assigned to work in a county or city. There are some exceptions, depending on the needs of the community. Conservation officers assist each other in adjacent counties within their work areas. They also work with local law enforcement agencies when performing manhunts, search and rescue, and other endeavors.
With the addition of 19 new Conservation Police Officers the force now numbers 166 Officers.
Since the establishment of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, eight officers have died while on duty.
- About the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
- The Roanoke Times, Friday, July 11, 2008
- Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia, Fallen Officers