NWTF honors Dorchester County SCDNR officer

SCDNR's PFC Tanner Riley and his wife Allison are shown here with Riley's NWTF award. (photo courtesy NWTF)

PFC Tanner Riley named NWTF Wildlife Officer of the Year

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has named PFC Tanner Riley with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) as their Wildlife Officer of the Year.

Riley, assigned to Dorchester County, has been with SCDNR since 2017 and currently serves as vice president of the South Carolina Wildlife Enforcement Officers’ Association. In 2020, he was named SCDNR’s Statewide Officer of the Year.

“PFC Tanner Riley’s work ethic and commitment to this job have made us extremely proud,” said SCDNR Deputy Director of Law Enforcement, Col. Chisolm Frampton. “He’s committed to protecting the natural resources of our state, and to the larger mission of serving his community however he can.”

According to the NWTF, the Wildlife Officer of the Year Award is given to individuals that have excelled and demonstrated exceptional performance in the following areas: teamwork and innovation, excellence and innovation, attitude and leadership and achievements and accomplishments.

“I am very honored and thankful to receive this incredible award from the National Wild Turkey Federation,” Riley said. “I am blessed to be able to wake up every morning and go do a job that I love. I have always had a passion for the outdoors and have grown up hunting and fishing in South Carolina. I have had an incredible role model in my father, who is a captain with our department and has been a game warden for over 26 years. He taught me at an early age what it means to be a conservationist and how to appreciate the game that we hunt. I have grown up seeing the joy this career has brought my dad and knew that I wanted to be a South Carolina game warden.”

Riley also participates in community outreach efforts

Riley has a passion for working with youth and for getting members of the community involved in the outdoors. Riley recorded 26 public presentations in 2020 for a variety of initiatives geared toward engaging the community, including Take One Make One hunts, Outdoor Dream hunts and Shop with a Cop during Christmas.

In addition to engaging the local community, Officer Riley distinguished himself as a wildlife officer in 2020, logging 448 hours of night patrol including involvement in 245 individual cases, many of which had to do with individuals egregiously abusing wildlife laws.

“I am lucky to have such an incredible wife who has supported me as I started this career and is always understanding when I’m out late or gone early working on cases,” Riley said. As a game warden, we are often called on to help other law enforcement agencies with search and rescue operations, natural disaster assistance and to help with big events across the state.”

“Wildlife officers are devout stewards of our natural resources,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Tanner enforces the laws that are vital to the protection of wildlife and its habitat, and exceeds the call of duty by working to introduce people of all walks of life to the outdoors.”

For more information about the Edgefield, S.C.-based NWTF, visit: NWTF.org.

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