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The Inside Job - August 2011

The Inside Job - August 2011

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Published by FWC - Inside Job
Monthly newsletter for employees of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Monthly newsletter for employees of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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Published by: FWC - Inside Job on Jul 29, 2011
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08/01/2011

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August 2011The Employee e-Newsletter of the Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission
In this issue...
Video tribute to Rodney Barreto
Six-time Chairman saluted at June Commission meeting... [more]
Lee County billboard urges panther awareness
 
Over 50,000 motorists see the message every day... [more]
Fuss 'n' feathers
 
Transporting an injured hawk proves more than officer bargained for... [more]
Doing the heavy lifting
 
2 officers pick up gold, silver for weightlifting at Police and Fire Games... [more]
 
Video tribute to Rodney Barreto
The June Commission meeting marked the end of an era, as
RodneyBarreto
stepped down as Chairman, having served six one-year terms inthat capacity.To commemorate the many accomplishments during his 10 years of service on the Commission, a special video was produced for showing atthe June meeting in St. Augustine.You can watch the 5-minute piece on theFWC's YouTube channel.
 
Commissioner Rodney Barreto(FWC photo)
Commissioner Barreto's second five-year term expires August 1.Top of page 
Lee Co. billboard urges panther awareness
(from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release)A digital billboard on U.S. 41 in Lee County is reminding 50,000 motorists a day to watch out for Floridapanthers.Featuring an image of a panther running across aroad in Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, thebillboard urges caution, because vehicle collisions area leading cause of panther deaths. As of July 12,seven Florida panthers have been killed on SouthwestFlorida roads this year.The billboard space was donated by Lamar OutdoorAdvertising, and the message will run indefinitely.
Bob Repenning of Lee County Parks and Recreation took thephotograph used in the billboard.(Design by Lamar Outdoor Advertising)
"We're proud to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife ConservationCommission reach as many motorists as possible with this message of caution," said Lamar's southwest Floridasales manager Vinny Fazio.The panther population has grown five-fold since the 1980s, when its numbers dwindled to 20-30. Its increaseto acurrent estimate of 100-160adult panthers is a success story, but one tempered with the knowledge thatan increasing population means a greater chance for vehicle collisions.Top of page
Fuss 'n' feathers
By Officer Sam CohlAfter 13 years as an FWC officer, I thought I had seen it all. At least I did until the other day.On July 8, I was on routine patrol along the Charlotte/Sarasota County line when a family flagged me down.The driver said a hawk had just been struck by a car one block away.I reached the scene to find a large red-tailed hawk standing in the center of the two-lane road blocking traffic inboth directions. Its wing was covered in blood, and it apparently had no intention of moving from the roadway.Someone handed me a beach towel, which I draped over the bird's head and body to keep it calm. I picked upthe towel-wrapped hawk and placed it on the passenger-side floor of my truck.I knew the hawk's best chance for survival would be at The Wildlife Center of Venice, about 45 minutes away.Most of the trip was uneventful, but as I got closer to the Wildlife Center, the weather deteriorated and rainpoured from the sky. At about 3 miles from our destination, I began to have a strange suspicion I was beingwatched.I slowly looked down to see two large eyes locked onto me like I was a giant mouse. The now-alert bird haddecided it didn't need the towel draped over it for protection. I felt like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral, and thehawk was giving me until sundown to get out of town. But I figured the hawk had a broken wing; surely, itwouldn't try to take flight.
Wrong!
 
Recovered from its injury, the hawk wastransported to its release site - in a moresuitable carrier.(FWC photo)
While maintaining control of my truck on the wet road, I was alsofending off flying feathers, flapping wings, a stiletto-like beak andrazor-sharp talons. I stopped the truck, jumped out in the pouringrain and grabbed my rain jacket from the back and used it tosubdue the hawk. Though soaked and a bit disheveled, I arrived atthe Wildlife Center of Venice with no further injuries to the hawk -or myself.Fortunately, the hawk's wing was not broken, and we were able torelease the bird a little more than a week later. I was also thegrateful recipient of a gift from the Wildlife Center, an animal cratethat will help prevent further comedic episodes with temporarilystunned wildlife.Top of page 
Doing the heavy lifting
 
By Katie Purcell, Law EnforcementEvery June, law enforcement officers, firefighters and military personnel take part in theFlorida Police and FireGames.Thousands of participants, from over 200 different agencies, compete in Olympic-style sporting events.The FWC had a successful year in the weightlifting events.
Officer Billy Giles
and
Officer Joe Johnston
, bothof the
North Central Region
, earned medals in their weight classes. Billy won gold medals for bench pressand power lifting in the 220-pound class. In his first weightlifting competition, Joe won the gold medal in powerlifting and silver in bench press in the 242-pound class.Their accomplishments are impressive enough on their own,but perhaps what is even more noteworthy is that
Billy
achieved this less than a year after suffering seriouslacerations to his legs in a boating accident.The accident occurred last August and required severalsurgeries. Billy's doctor told him that had he not been insuch good physical shape, his femoral artery could havebeen cut, which could have been fatal. Billy vowed torecover from his injuries and return to the competitionstronger than ever. He returned to full duty in Novemberand resumed training in December.Billy and Joe work out for 90 minutes three or four times aweek, focusing on squats, bench press and dead-lifts.The hard work seems to be paying off. Billy moved up fromthe 198-pound weight class and achieved his personal bestin all three categories in which he participated.
K-9 Officer Billy Giles (L) and Officer Joe Johnston withtheir medals from the Florida Police and Fire Games.Johnston is awaiting the arrival of his silver medal.(FWC photo by Karen Parker)
Serves Them Right
Citizens and FWC customers were so impressed by the following employees, they told us about it through the"Praise an Employee" page of MyFWC.com/Contact:
Andrea Boliek (HSC)
- "...My brother's truck was not properly equipped for off-roading, and he got usstuck...We were lucky that Andrea...saw us...and she was able to pull our Jeep out of the mud. She took the timeto explain to us (very nicely) that what we were doing was actually frowned upon because of the resourcedepletion...She asked for nothing in return only that we respect the land and not do that sort of thing again..."
Nancy Brock (L&P)
- "I wanted to take the time to thank Nancy & the entire team for being so helpful and kind

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