Last week Thursday, Steve Stoinski came to talk with us about his career as a special agent working with through US Fish and Wildlife Service. Steve spent time working in a few different states (Alaska, Utah, Colorado) before landing the job that he has now. He has held positions as a legislative coordinator, field training officer and pilot, as well as his current position as a conservation warden.
As a special agent, Steve is responsible for coordinating efforts with foreign, state, and tribal governments, providing investigative training and educational programs, responding to natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina, BP oil spill), and last but not least, enforcing federal laws. One of the big ones is the Lacey Act, which gives him inter-state and foreign commerce enforcement ability. Under this act, Steve has worked undercover to take down illegal operations involving various wildlife hunting and/or poaching (deer, bear, mountain lion, etc.). The Marine Mammal Act is another that authorizes indigenous/native people to hunt marine mammals, but only if it’s subsistence hunting. Some of the other Acts he has worked in the name of include the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Airborne Hunting Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and a few Multinational Species Conservation Acts. Last summer, Steve was asked to help with an international training session in Botswana, Africa. He went over to help investigate elephant and rhino poachers, and he taught the participants how to catch poachers and how to work with others to best maximize their efforts. Steve’s talk was highly informative and very educational. It is good for us students to get a broader perspective on wildlife and our natural resources, especially those of us wanting to work in the field some day.