New warden director for Vermont Fish and Wildlife

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont’s game warden service will soon have a new leader. Maj. Justin Stedman will be promoted to colonel and take over as the warden director on Sept. 24.

He replaces Col. Jason Batchelder.

Stedman has been with the warden service since 2004. He says the biggest changes since he began as a warden are technology and increases in bear activity.

But there are more changes on the way for wardens, who will now start responding to calls that state troopers have historically been called to.

“The big additions that we’re not traditionally involved with are animal cruelty investigations and then responses to state land issues. And in there is a caveat because we deal with wildlife management areas and state lands that belong to Fish and Wildlife but this will be more responding to issues at state parks,” Stedman said.

He says one of his biggest priorities is cracking down on the illegal trade of endangered species in an effort to keep Vermont’s wildlife safe.

Watch the video to see our Elissa Borden’s full conversation with Maj. Justin Stedman.