84 Bob Farrell – Hawai’i

Bob Farrell is a former fish and wildlife enforcement officer with more than 30 years of maritime experience in multiple environments from Alaska to Hawai’i. After a successful career with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife – culminating in serving as Assistant Chief – Bob figured he’d return to his home state of Hawai’i to wind down his career as an active game warden in the field, but fate soon intervened, and he once again found himself in a leadership position. Today, he continues his mission to strengthen conservation law enforcement through consultation and training all over the world.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Involved in wildlife conservation post-retirement
  • Enforcement is sometimes an afterthought
  • Earliest memories are on the water
  • “I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau when I grew up.”
  • NOAA fisheries observer aboard a Korean trawler in Alaska
  • Six years fishing the Bering Sea
  • Operating boats for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Joined CDFW as a dive instructor
  • Accepted as a reserve warden
  • Warden-centric TV programs helped recruitment
  • Promotions are nice, but being an active warden is more fun
  • Bob delayed promotion to join a major task force operation
  • Moved to Hawai’i to get back into the field, but then…
  • “At the end of the day, I was obligated.”
  • Helping enact progressive change
  • Building skills from the ground up
  • Secured funding for the first DOCARE academy
  • Developing a Field Training Officer program
  • Established the state’s first DLNR Officer of the Year award
  • Sending officers to NACLEC
  • “Now we’re the tip of the spear.”
  • Working nights wasn’t typical
  • Caught spotlighters the first night
  • Protect cultural as well as natural resources
  • Retirement allows freedom to advocate for policy and legislation
  • The importance of listening to different perspectives
  • We can effect change
  • Bob’s advice for potential game wardens


Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches


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