The Haskell Noyes Award, often referred to as the Warden of the Year, is the highest honor bestowed on a state conservation warden. (Courtesy WisDNR)

Wisconsin DNR announces 2022 Warden of the Year

By Patrick Lynn

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced this week, that DNR Conservation Warden Lt. Bryan Lockman has been honored with the Warden of the Year award for 2022.

The Warden of the Year award, formerly known as the Haskell Noyes Efficiency Award, represents the highest recognition bestowed upon a state conservation warden. Awardees demonstrate exceptional leadership in maintaining a top-tier law enforcement conservation program that effectively balances enforcement, education, and community engagement. The award is named after the late Milwaukee businessman who established it 93 years ago as a means to honor individuals safeguarding our state’s natural resources.

Lockman, a 22-year veteran of the agency, is frequently described by his peers as humble, dedicated, empathetic, and consistently reliable.

He initiated his career with the DNR in 2001 as a conservation warden and has faithfully served the state in various field warden roles in Sturgeon Bay, New London, Wisconsin Rapids, and Stevens Point. Currently, he leads a team of wardens headquartered in Wisconsin Rapids.

According to Capt. Ben Treml, Lockman’s supervisor, community policing forms the bedrock of Lockman’s approach.

“Bryan demonstrates thoroughness in investigations related to environmental complaints and violations, and his humble and compassionate demeanor allows him to connect with hunters, anglers, trappers, and landowners,” Treml said. “This unique combination enables him to enforce the law while fostering public trust.”

Lockman also enjoys a sterling reputation among his colleagues.

“Bryan’s integrity is unwavering,” said Lt. Warden Jon Scharbarth. “He is not only an outstanding teammate and collaborator but also a valuable asset and resource. His empathetic communication style and pragmatic approach set people at ease. In challenging situations, there is no one I would rather have by my side.”

Lockman is also renowned for his active participation in the local community and his commitment to providing education on natural resources and safety through numerous school and community events, Scharbarth said.