Kane County Attorney Rob Van Dyke was recently named the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) 2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. The award is given to recognize a prosecutor in the state who has set themselves apart by working closely with the UDWR to effectively prosecute wildlife crimes in their area of responsibility.

“Rob earned this award by going above and beyond to understand wildlife law and how to apply it fairly and effectively to help protect the public’s wildlife in Kane County,” wrote UDWR Kane County Conservation Officer Zed Broadhead.

Van Dyke was appreciative of the honor, but acknowledged that wildlife law in Utah is complicated. Different laws apply to the different areas of hunting such as; public lands, general hunting areas, private refuges, parks, etc.

“We don’t have a super high caseload,” said Van Dyke. “I would say we average about 10 a year.”

Van Dyke admits the UDWR conservation officers take their mission of protecting wildlife seriously. “When they find a dead animal they suspect has been killed illegally, they treat it like a murder,” he said. “They make casts of footprints, do interviews, everything. It makes my job easier. I really appreciate the work that they do.”