New Mexico seeking next generation of conservation officers

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is seeking qualified men and women to join the next generation of conservation officers who protect and conserve the state’s wildlife.

Applications for this position will be accepted until May 25. Physical assessments and interviews will take place June 2-3 in Santa Fe. Candidates who pass the interview may be required to stay in Santa Fe until June 8 to complete further testing.

Prior law enforcement experience is not required but successful applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as fisheries or wildlife biology, forestry or criminal justice. Candidates also must pass a psychological exam, medical exam, background investigation and fitness and drug test.

Applicants must also pass a written exam and an oral interview board before being offered a position. If hired, recruits will receive basic training at the law enforcement academy, the department recruit school and one year of on-the-job training before working alone in the field.

According to Lieutenant Brady Griffith, individuals who are hired will receive extensive training in subjects such as emergency vehicle operations, criminal investigations, defensive tactics, arrest procedures, aerial wildlife survey techniques, wildlife restraint, OHV use, boat operations and firearms training.

Griffith said, “The training is rigorous and the work is often difficult, requiring sound judgement, a good work ethic and common sense.” The department is seeking highly motivated personnel who are up to the challenge this career represents.

Conservation officers enforce New Mexico’s game and fish laws, investigate criminal cases and pursue civil cases against offenders. They work primarily alone in the most remote regions of the state and are often stationed in small towns. Officers also educate the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conduct wildlife surveys, capture nuisance wildlife, investigate wildlife damage to crops and property, assist in wildlife relocations and help develop new hunting, fishing and trapping regulations.

Interested applicants can get more information about conservation officer duties, educational and physical requirements, training, and employee benefits by visiting the enforcement page on the department’s website at or they can contact Lt. Brady Griffith, the department’s recruiting officer at (505) 795-1700 or by email at