This page contains links to full length articles written by Conservation Officers, Investigators and other experts in the field of natural resource protection or law enforcement.


The Long Liner – Written by retired Lt. Ken Didion, this article chronicles a complicated trapping case that he investigated in the mid 1990s. The case was out of the ordinary for a trapping case in that it eventually involved felony level offenses, and the defendant spent time in jail in addition to paying significant financial penalties. This article originally appeared in the International Game Warden magazine in 1996.

The Search for John Henry Wackerman – At the request of Game Protector John Henry Wackerman’s family, Lt. Tom Caifa conducts a search of the DEC’s historical records to locate information about this officer who served during the early 1900s.

Our Law Enforcement Connection – Written by retired Lt. Ken Didion, this is a brief editorial on the close working relationships that ECOs enjoy with other law enforcement agencies.

Ice – Written by retired Lt. Bob Henke. With a humorous look at an incident from early in his career, retired Lt. Bob Henke provides some insight and guidance for staying safe on winter ice.

The Warden’s Son – written by Lt. Deming Lindsley, this is his story of what it was like growing up as the son of a game warden. His father, Burton Lindsley, had a distinguished career as a Game Protector and Conservation Officer for over thirty years.

Game Protectors, The Early Years – written by Capt. Tim Huss, this is a reflection on the dedication and dangerous duties of the Game Protectors in the early 1900’s.

Bears of the Adirondacks – Part I – written by retired Lt. Ken Didion, this is the first installment of his trials and tribulations of dealing with the problems caused by conflict between bears and people in the Cranberry Lake area of the Adirondacks where he patrolled for many years.

Bears of the Adirondacks – Part II – the second installment on dealing with bears and people. This installment is a reflection on the problems encountered when bears are hunted illegally.

History of the Environmental Conservation Officers – The article “Standing Watch” reproduced from the “Conservationist” Magazine.

The Early Years – written by Lt. Deming Lindsley, the Division of Law Enforcement’s most senior officer, this is a description of his first days as an ECO.

Operation Shellshock – written by Lt. Dick Thomas, this is the story behind one of the biggest undercover operations in Division of Law Enforcement history.

“Behind the Badge” – Retired ECO Dick Lang has recently published his first book. I have to assume that it is his first book, because I know that he has a lot more stories to tell about his career as a Game Warden in Niagara County. In his book, Dick relates some of the incidents from a long and distinguished career. Although Dick faced the dangers associated with police duties, this is not a book filled with dangerous encounters and narrow escapes from harm. This book contains the kind of stories that Game Wardens tell when they are gathered in a group of their peers. These are the stories that you accumulate and never forget because of their unusual nature of because of the humor of the circumstances.

Game Wardens can’t help but accumulate these stories. It is just the nature of the job. We deal with people of all walks of life and witness human nature at its finest and at its worst. We deal with accomplished criminals and criminals who botch their attempts to violate the law so badly that they make us laugh. The number of stories that a warden accumulates is a direct function of two things: how many years they spent in the field and how hard they worked at their duties. The hardest working wardens with the longest careers accumulated the most memorable stories. Simple as that.

And, that describes Dick Lang: a hard working Environmental Conservation Officer for 34 years. When you read his stories, you can imagine yourself in an exclusive circle – that of a group of active or retired game wardens as they gather to share their experiences. The excerpts from his book “Behind the Badge” that we will present here are a perfect example of what you would hear if you had the privilege of joining that group. We will start with Dick’s story of “The Skeleton” in the trunk, and will gradually add some more of his collection of stories for you to sample.

Dick’s book “Behind the Badge” can be purchased through this link at Or, it can be purchase directly from the author. If you would like to get a personally autographed copy directly from Dick, send us an email and we will provide you with the contact information.