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E-M:/ DNR Honors the Life, Service of Rick Asher

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

CONTACT: Mary Dettloff, 517-335-3014

DNR Honors the Life, Service of Rick Asher
DNR Patrol Boat Named for Former Law Chief

A new 40-foot patrol boat that the Department of Natural Resources uses for commercial fishery enforcement efforts will now bear the name Rick Asher following a dedication ceremony to christen the boat after the late chief of the department's Law Enforcement Division Thursday evening in Petoskey.

Asher, who was hired as a conservation officer in August of 1974, passed away in 2003, following nearly 30 years of service to the DNR. At the time of his death, he was serving as the chief of the Law Enforcement Division.
Originally assigned to southern Wayne County, Asher was promoted to area law supervisor for Wayne and Monroe counties in 1978. In 1984, Asher was promoted again to district law enforcement supervisor for the Jackson District 13, and in 1987 was promoted to captain and named Region One (all of the Upper Peninsula) law enforcement supervisor. He transferred to the same position overseeing the DNR's law enforcement operations in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula in 1989. When the DNR reorganized after the Department of Environmental Quality was split off from the department, Asher was promoted to staff captain and transferred to the division office in Lansing.

He was promoted to Law Enforcement division chief in 2000. During Asher's tenure as chief, he helped implement several technology upgrades for conservation officers, including in-car computers, upgrades in officers' firearms and training, and initiated the first-ever DNR-run basic police academy. Asher also helped implement the provisions of the 2000 1836 Treaty Consent Decree by establishing a specific conservation officer unit under the Wildlife Resource Protection Section devoted to enforcement on the Great Lakes, with a specific charge to assist in enforcement of decree provisions.

"Rick Asher was known not only as a great leader with a vision for conservation law enforcement, he also was known as a law enforcement professional with a great appreciation of what his predecessors had contributed before him," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "The DNR proudly carries on the tradition of naming our vessels after fallen conservation officers by naming this boat the Rick Asher."

The Rick Asher is a Dauntless Class SeaArk built at the SeaArk facilities in Arkansas in the winter of 2003-2004. It was officially commissioned for service on Macatawa Lake near Holland on August 11, 2004. The vessel is permanently stationed at the port of Leland in Leelanau County.

The 40-foot vessel has a 14-foot beam and is powered by twin diesel engines with a top speed of approximately 33 knots (38 mph) and an average cruising speed of 22 knots (25 mph). The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics selected to address the needs of a commercial fisheries enforcement patrol boat. Its primary responsibility is to act as a platform to enforce regulations pertaining to the 2000 Tribal Fisheries Consent Decree and statutes addressing the state licensed commercial fishery. Its primary area of responsibility extends from Leland to the Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin state lines. 

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


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