BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Beale is made up of more than 25,000 acres of grassland and riparian area, which allows for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation. The base is tasked with conserving and protecting by the Sikes Act which mandates military installations develop and implement Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans.
Part of this plan includes conservation law enforcement, so the base has recently partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to bring Jesse Travis, a FWS Federal Wildlife Officer, on the installation to enforce said laws.
“I started in the beginning of September,” said Travis. “I have the same authority as Security Forces, but my goal is to help out with the hunting and fishing program and protect the natural and cultural resources. Basically, I am the law enforcement off the paved road.”
According to Travis, the FWS recently began partnering with the Air Force to help manage their bases’ lands. Prior to joining the FWS, Travis spent more than a decade as a Security Forces Airman and was actually a conservation officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California for five years. This put him in a unique position to help get the relationship off on the right foot.
“This basically is the start of a new program, so there are six bases in total,” said Travis. “When Beale opened up, I thought what a great opportunity because I speak both Air Force and Fish and Wildlife. It is also close to family, so Beale just happened to work out as a perfect location.”
Travis works closely with the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental office to help address and mitigate any concerns they may have regarding our natural resources.
“It is fantastic to finally have a conservation law enforcement officer on base,” said Tamara Gallentine, 9th CES natural and cultural resources program manager. “Having a Fish and Wildlife officer is beneficial to the management and protection of natural and cultural resources on base. Officer Travis has been here for two months and has already had a few incidences to solve.”
In addition to the law enforcement aspect of his job, Travis stresses the importance of building a culture of proper resource management amongst the base populous.
“For me it is not about how I get the biggest bust or writing citations, it is more educational,” said Travis. “I would rather be out there making contact with people who like hunting, fishing, or just being outside while reiterating the importance of taking care of the land.”