2020 Conservation Officer of the Year

July 15th, 2020

2020 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year  

Temiskaming Shores – The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Mike Schenk has been selected as the 2020 Conservation Officer of the Year. Mike is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) North Bay Enforcement Unit working out of the New Liskeard office.

Mike has been employed with MNRF across Northern Ontario since the early 1980’s and been a Conservation Officer for over 20 years, the last 18 of which he has patrolled the Temagami area.  He has proven throughout his career to be an outstanding officer, widely respected and relied upon by officers and staff from internal and external organizations.  This is evident by the long list of people that supported his nomination.  “Mike is a very deserving recipient of this year’s award,” said OCOA President Sean Cronsberry, “Mike has been an invaluable asset to our profession over the years, both as a skillful investigator and as an instructor.  In the field, Mike is among the best officers we have at taking statements and conducting thorough investigations.  In the classroom, Mike is a captivating speaker who speaks from experience.” 

Mike is an accomplished investigator and instructor who has demonstrated his commitment to the job and to protecting the public and our natural resources.  Some of Mike’s career highlights include:

  • Conducting and assisting with many complex investigations and projects, including investigations into night hunting, forest fires, illegal black bear outfitting operations, illegal netting and commercialization of fish, moose hunting investigations with a focus on the inhumane killing of wildlife and projects with a focus on public safety related offences. 
  • Receiving two OCOA Life Saving Awards 
  • Receiving an OPP Commissioner’s Commendation
  • Developing and delivering training on a variety of topics to fellow Conservation Officers and other MNRF staff
  • Receiving multiple Appreciation in Motion awards from the MNRF
  • Delivering hundreds of natural resource related presentations to; youth/public groups, hunter safety classes, cottage associations, park visitors and angler and hunter groups
  • Being a dedicated volunteer, including:
    • Leading and supporting food drives for local food banks
    • Being a Canadian Armed Forces Reserve Lieutenant to instruct at the Army Cadet Corp in his community
    • 5 years as a Scout leader and 2 years as a Beaver leader with Scouts Canada
    • Participating in the Cops for Cancer fundraising campaign
    • Active member with the Temiskaming Anglers and Hunters Association and Temiskaming Bullseye Club

Upon learning he had been selected as the 2020 Conservation Officer of the Year, Mike said, “I am truly surprised and humbled by this award.  I was raised in a family environment full of outdoor adventure accompanied by terrific lifelong friends, so a career in natural resource management and enforcement was an excellent lifestyle fit for me.  I share this award with all the dedicated officers and MNRF staff that I have worked with over the past 36 years, we have effectively learned and supported each other in the pursuit of sound resource conservation.  It has been a privilege to be an Ontario Conservation Officer, I wish I could turn back time so I could live the adventure all over again.”

Mike was also awarded the MNRF Conservation Officer of the Year Award and he will be receiving the Shikar-Safari Club International Ontario Wildlife Officer of the Year Award, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Conservation Officer of the Year Award, and he has been nominated for the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association Officer of the Year Award.

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For more information contact:

Sean Cronsberry


Ontario Conservation Officers Association