DNR South Central Region - FENNIMORE - Department of Natural Resources conservation warden Martin Stone, Fennimore, received the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boating Safety Award ... More... FENNIMORE – Department of Natural Resources conservation warden Martin Stone, Fennimore, received the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boating Safety Award recently for his foresight and leadership in boating enforcement efforts on the Mississippi River. Stone has been stationed in Grant County since 2002. The Boating Safety Award was first presented in 1992. It is awarded to a state or local government individual who is involved in boating safety but does not serve as a boating law administrator, and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in any area of the program, including but not limited to enforcement, education, search and rescue, navigational aids, or registration and titling. The award is sponsored the National Safe Boating Council, a longtime partner of NASBLA. NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. “The Boating Safety Award given to Warden Stone by NASBLA is an esteemed honor and signifies high respect not only for Marty but upon the entire Wisconsin Conservation Warden force,” noted DNR Boating Law Administrator Roy Zellmer, Madison. Serving roughly the northern half of Grant County, Warden Stone works the majority of his boating enforcement on the Mississippi River, which has heavy recreational boating traffic, as well as significant commercial barge traffic. In recent years, the recreational traffic in the area has changed dramatically due to an increase in the use of large offshore powerboats that are capable of speeds from 60 to 100 miles per hour, powered by one to three V-8 engines. With this significant traffic change on the river, Stone rose to the challenge and became the leader in boat enforcement and noise violations on his stretch of the Mississippi River. His knowledge of the three SAE standard testing procedures is unparalleled. He has organized interagency noise and intoxicated boater checks on the Mississippi River for more than five years. During these checks, Stone uses sound level meters and range finders to concentrate on moving violations. In addition to working well with local Wisconsin wardens and sheriff’s departments, he has coordinated patrol efforts with officers from the state of Iowa and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This willingness to work with officers from other agencies has contributed to a close and effective working relationship between all agencies on the river – focusing on boating safety. The number of boats encountered and cited for various violations has significantly dropped in recent years because of his efforts. Unfortunately, the very high speeds of these boats and the corresponding use of alcohol have led to some fatal accidents on the river. Stone has always done a good job investigating these incidents as well as providing emergency first aid to the victims. Detecting intoxicated or impaired boat operators has always been a priority for Stone. He routinely arrests more intoxicated boat operators on the Mississippi River than any other enforcement officer. Recognizing that on-water enforcement can address only some of the heavy drinking that goes on, Stone uses many innovative tactics to prevent, detect, stop and arrest impaired boaters, including “beach sweeps” to reduce the illegal use of alcohol and drugs on river islands by boaters.