HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — District Wildlife Manager Mike Crosby, of Parshall, has been named Colorado’s John D. Hart Wildlife Officer of the Year for 2013. The award was presented to him at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission meeting in Salida, April 10.
The award was named after the legendary wildlife officer who retired as the agency’s assistant director in 1959. Hart epitomized the commitment to preserving and enhancing Colorado’s wildlife and the aggressive pursuit of poachers and other wildlife violators. The award recognizes Crosby’s outstanding service inspired by these ideals.
“I’m humbled and very appreciative to be honored this way,” said Crosby. “When I think about all the accomplished officers that have received this award in the past, it truly puts it in perspective. I couldn’t be prouder, not only because my fellow officers nominated me, but that I actually won this prestigious award.”
Those who know and work with Crosby say he exemplifies the true nature of the modern District Wildlife Manager, having a wide perspective and knowledge of multiple disciplines, including law enforcement, science, biology, botany and social issues.
He is lauded for his professional demeanor when enforcing wildlife laws, whether checking angler licenses or spending long hours on night patrols protecting big game in his district.
He is also recognized for his outstanding outreach efforts, having worked with agency partners on a variety of wildlife projects including bighorn sheep transplants and habitat treatment work, such as sage-grouse habitat enhancements. Crosby takes the controls and operates heavy equipment himself.
“Mike is always willing to help any officer, whether helping monitor herd conditions throughout the year, tracking the overall health of the animals by checking marrow samples to just helping out with whatever you need. I can always count on him to lend a hand,” said fellow Middle Park District Wildlife Manager Gene Abrams.
His friends and neighbors in and around the community of Parshall talk about Crosby’s great sense of humor and easy-going disposition. The locals know him as an officer and a friend, knowing that they can depend on him for help with any task, from the most menial to the most demanding.
Retired Colorado Wildlife Officer Rob Firth, a personal friend of Crosby’s and recipient of the 2006 Officer of the Year Award, added to the nomination letter by writing, “The most outstanding thing in my mind about Mike is the fact that you can absolutely depend on him to show up in a time of need. He’ll cover for you if need-be or back you up in ANY law enforcement scenario or other wildlife management need. He’ll be there to help set up and then stay to the end, helping you break it all down and haul it off.”
“He wears his heart in the same place as he wears the agency’s ram patch — on his sleeve,” said his supervisor, Area Wildlife Manager Lyle Sidener. “It is an honor to work with Mike and I couldn’t be happier or prouder for him. He truly deserves the award.”
Crosby is not only an asset to the agency but an asset to the entire state, Sidener added.
“The people of Colorado should know that wildlife is in good hands with officers like Mike working to protect their natural resource,” he said.
Crosby noted that although the award was given to him, he credits the professionals he works with and the members of his community for making it possible.
“This is the highlight of my career,” said Crosby. “But I couldn’t have done it alone. There are a whole lot of people who helped me along the way and I will always remember that.”
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“This is the highlight of my career. But I couldn’t have done it alone. There are a whole lot of people who helped me along the way and I will always remember that.”
Mike Crosby, recognized as “Wildlife Officer of the Year”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife