Lake Pueblo State Park Ranger Joe Stadterman was named the 2011-2012 Colorado Boating Officer of the Year.

As the state winner, Stadterman is eligible for the Regional Boating Officer of the Year award; selected by the Western States Boating Administrators Association (WSBAA) board. If Stadterman wins the Regional Boating Officer of the Year award, he will be in the running for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Butch Potts Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. He would also receive a trip to the NASBLA Annual Conference where all of the regional winners will be recognized and the national winner will be announced.

Stadterman has been the boating safety officer at Lake Pueblo State Park, which draws more than 1.8 million visitors a year, for three years. Lake Pueblo is a large, urban park with a popular reservoir covering 4,500 acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and two large marinas with over 1,200 boat slips. With mild winters and hot summers, the park is one of the few in Colorado to remain open to boating year round.

“Joe is a hard-working and significant member of the park team,” said Brad Henley, Lake Pueblo State Park’s Manager. “He is equally well liked and respected by the visitors of the park as well as his co-workers. One of the reasons for his effectiveness is that his personal passion for boating has carried over to his work and he strives to ensure that every park visitor’s stay is safe and enjoyable.”

“Whether he is patrolling on a busy summer weekend, responding to a serious boating accident or just giving boating advice to first-time visitors, Joe does his job with professionalism and genuine enthusiasm,” said Henley. Joe has also gone beyond his job requirements to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Patrol Officer training and the Level II boat accident reconstruction class.

“He is an innovative and energetic instructor for local boat safety classes held at Lake Pueblo State Park and has taught 49 students the last two summers,” said Henley. “He also attends numerous safety fairs and school events to promote safe boating in the local community.”

At Lake Pueblo, visitor safety is the main priority and Stadterman is also the park’s top boating under the influence officer. Henley said that since Stadterman took over the boat safety program, the number of boating under the influence and safety violation citations have declined due to his proactive approach to these problems. He has also launched a comprehensive plan to re-map Lake Pueblo and place additional naming buoys at the entrances to over 15 coves to assist boaters with locations and current names of coves on the park, to aid in a faster response when they are in distress.

“It’s time that Joe received the recognition and appreciation he so richly deserves,” said Frank Marincich, Lake Pueblo’s Senior Park Ranger who nominated Stadterman. “Joe would be a worthy recipient of this award that recognizes excellence.”

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