(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Natural resources is accepting candidates for the conservation officer recruit and probationary conservation officer positions.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hiring conservation officers for a 2022 academy. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers. \ Credit: Michigan DNR

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These officers are stationed in almost every county. They enforce laws related to state parks, fish and wildlife, trails and forests, and outdoor recreation activities such as off-road vehicle use, snowmobiling, and boating.

The Michigan DNR said an in-service training program is being offered to anyone who:

  • Currently holds a Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards license (MCOLES), or
  • Is eligible to immediately be licensed upon employment and meets the DNR’s hiring requirements.

“This probationary training program will allow eligible recruits to participate in a seven-week, in-service training program focusing on conservation officer-specific laws and functions,” said F/Lt. Jason Wicklund, DNR Law Enforcement Division.

In August, nine officers completed the training program.

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“Before becoming a conservation officer, I was a trooper with the Michigan State Police,” said Conservation Officer Alex Van Wagner, one of the August graduates. “I grew up seeing the local conservation officer in my hometown, and I thought he had a cool job. I learned more about what conservation officers do and was interested in the fact that the job would take me out of a traditional work setting and allow me to experience so many different opportunities.”

All other applicants will be eligible for enrollment in an MCOLES basic training academy to meet the training standards.

Candidates must be at least 21-years-old by the activation of an MCOLES license.

Recruits become State of Michigan employees during the academy and receive biweekly paychecks while collecting benefits and retirement.

For more information on the hiring process to become a conservation officer, visit here.

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