Colonel's Welcome

I would like to welcome you to the Maine Warden Service website. The men and women of the Maine Warden Service have a long standing proud tradition of commitment to the citizens and visitors of the great State of Maine. An estimated 2.4 billion dollars of the State's economy depends on the diversity and availability of Maine's fish and wildlife resources and the safety of all those that enjoy our many outdoor recreational opportunities. The Maine Warden Service was established in 1880, and still today, nearly 130 years later, through education, community involvement, professional law enforcement, and search and rescue practices Maine Game Wardens are committed to protecting and preserving Maine's quality of life and outdoor activities.

As the Colonel, I am honored to lead Maine's Game Wardens in their unique and challenging profession. We are faithful to our heritage, yet flexible and adaptive to change. Maine Game Wardens are progressive and highly motivated and recognize the tremendous responsibility we have in providing the highest level of professional conservation law enforcement and search and rescue services to all who venture into Maine's woodlands and inland waterways. Our job is to enforce, educate and assist all in their compliance with our laws. We have no compromise for willful acts of poaching that steal from all who enjoy our unique and vast natural resources.

If you are interested in an outdoor law enforcement career that is rewarding yet challenging please contact your local Game Warden and take the time to visit the Game Warden Careers section of our website. The Maine Warden Service is always looking for individuals who are up to the challenge of our unique and exciting profession. Please take the time to learn more about our agency by visiting our website. You will be provided with helpful and interesting information relating to the structure, mission, vision and values of all of who wear the red coat. Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and please support your local Game Warden. We cannot conduct our mission without the valuable support and assistance of all who enjoy our outdoor heritage.

-Colonel Joel T. Wilkinson

Organizational Structure

Bureau of Warden Service - Law Enforcement Operations

The Maine Warden Service is the law enforcement branch of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is equal in organizational level and status with other major organizational units within the department or its successors. The bureau is administered by a director who is immediately responsible to the deputy commissioner. The director is the Game Warden Colonel. The director possesses full authority and responsibility for administering all the powers and duties of the bureau, subject to the direction of the commissioner and except as otherwise provided by statute. The responsibilities of the bureau include, but are not limited to:

  • General enforcement. Enforcement of laws or rules as designated by this Part, or as specified;
  • Wildlife and fisheries enforcement. Enforcement of laws and department rules pertaining to the management and protection of inland fisheries and wildlife resources;
  • Snowmobile, watercraft and all-terrain vehicle enforcement. Enforcement of laws and department rules pertaining to the registration and operation of snowmobiles, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles;
  • Investigation of hunting related shooting incidents and recreational vehicle crashes;
  • Search and rescue. The coordination and implementation of all search and rescue operations as specified under section 10105, subsection 4;
  • Safety. Assistance with programs for hunter safety and for the safe operation of snowmobiles, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles;
  • Data collection. The collection of data as needed for the management and protection of the inland fisheries and wildlife resources; and
  • Other. Such responsibilities as specified in state law.

The Maine Warden Service is made up of a field operations branch and special services branch that provides support services to the overall law enforcement mission. The Maine Warden Service has 125 sworn law enforcement officers and 7 non-sworn civilians in administrative support functions for a total compliment of 132 staff. The main office headquarters is located in Augusta, with the five divisional offices being staffed located in Gray, Sidney, Bangor, Greenville and Ashland.

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Bureau Structure - Field Operations Divisons

The field operations divisions are supervised directly by the Game Warden Major and are made up of five Game Warden Lieutenants that supervise five divisions with a compliment of 109 uniformed law enforcement officers. These 109 law enforcement officers are broken into three sections within each of the five divisions. Each section is supervised by a Game Warden Sergeant who is the field supervisor for six to seven districts which are the responsibility of the Game Warden assigned to the district.

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Bureau Structure - Special Services Division

The special services divisions is made up of eleven sworn law enforcement officers and two civilian employees that provide critical law enforcement support functions to the Maine Warden Service. These services include an Aviation Division which is comprised of two Game Warden Pilots and one Chief Game Warden Pilot who is directly responsible for the air operations program to include supervision of pilots, policy development, maintenance, training and budget oversight. The Aviation Division provides critical support to the search and rescue and law enforcement mission of the Maine Warden Service.

The Investigations Division, Training Program, Whitewater Enforcement Program, Landowner Relations program, Specialty Teams and Internal Affairs program all fall under the Game Warden Captain. The Investigations Division is made up of four Game Warden Investigators that are stationed throughout the state. The Investigators are responsible for the criminal investigation of all death related incidents resulting in prosecution that the Maine Warden Service is responsible for. Additionally they investigate the circumstances surrounding lost or missing persons and violations of the commercialization of fish and wildlife resources. One Game Warden Whitewater Boating Specialist is assigned to enforcement of Maine?s commercial whitewater rafting industry.

One Game Warden Special Services Lieutenant who reports to the Game Warden Captain manages the Maine Warden Service technology and grant programs to include our records management, permit and activity reporting systems. Additionally, this Lieutenant is responsible for the supervision, policy development, and budget oversight for the K-9 Team, Dive Team, Evidence Response Team, Incident Management Team, Firearms Team, Forensic Mapping Team and Forensics Lab.

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