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NWC News Desk

Northwest College launches conservation law enforcement program this fall

Posted April 11, 2019
By NWC News Desk

A new conservation law enforcement program launching this fall at Northwest College will prepare students for careers as park rangers, field agents, game wardens and many other related law enforcement positions.

NWC is the fifth college in the U.S., and the only institution in Wyoming, to offer this associate of arts degree program.

“The demand for both seasonal and full-time, well-trained employees in this field throughout the region is high,” said NWC Instructor of Criminal Justice Tony Enerva. “The Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service and several others are increasingly seeking new recruits with a background in criminal justice and conservation law enforcement.”

Throughout the next five years, there will be more than 300 job openings in the state through Wyoming Highway Patrol, Forest Service, National Park Service, Wyoming Department of Corrections and Bureau of Land Management.

Students who enroll in the program will gain a comprehensive background in criminal justice, environmental law, backcountry survival, navigation and natural resource protection.

In addition, students will receive academic instruction from faculty with more than 50 years of combined law enforcement experience and gain access to technology that helps facilitate real-world scenarios.

“We’re one of only 12 colleges in the nation with a state-of-the-art VirTra 300 firearms simulator,” said NWC Instructor of Criminal Justice Dave Patterson. “By offering our students exposure to the highest quality simulations, we assure real-world training to help them prepare for the risks associated with law enforcement.”

The curriculum is specifically designed so students receive a strong academic background in law enforcement, which will assist those who complete the program to advance in conservation law enforcement careers.

Graduates of the conservation law enforcement program at NWC will be prepared for employment at the federal, state and local levels in Wyoming and beyond.

Program requirements for the associate of arts degree include courses such as Introduction to Conservation Law Enforcement, Environmental Law, Basic Search and Rescue, Firearms I and II, Criminal Law, Criminal Investigations, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Wildlife Management, Wilderness First Aid and Principles of Range Management.

To learn more about conservation law enforcement at NWC, visit Go to to view course offerings for the upcoming semester.