New wildlife trooper lands in Haines


March 26, 2020

Haines’ new wildlife trooper Colin Nemec,28, arrived in town March 16 amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

“It has been an interesting time to start a new post. With the health concerns and mandates it has been difficult to meet people and get involved,” Nemec said of his desire to participate in community events. “It’s ironic that the first community-related activity we are partaking in is to isolate ourselves from the community. Thankfully, Haines is a beautiful place and we have been able to walk around town.”

He arrived from his last post in Soldotna with his wife, Renae, 4-month-old daughter Sabrina and his dog Guinness, “like the beer,” Nemec said.

He moved to Alaska from his hometown of Chicago in 2018 to serve in his first stint as an Alaska State Trooper. Before that, he worked as a wildland firefighter in northern California in 2014 at the height of the drought. “We worked pretty much six months straight every single day,” Nemec said. “It was really rewarding but not a job that is very family oriented.”

Before becoming a trooper, he was a restoration ecologist. “I restored native lands that had been degraded through invasive species,” Nemec said.

Nemec has a degree in natural resources and environmental science and a concentration in resource conservation and restoration ecology from the University of Illinois.

Nemec worked in Soldotna for about two years before transferred to Haines. His posting here will last at least two years, he said, but he hopes to stay longer.

“I’m really looking forward to staying longer than that,” Nemec said. “Everybody I’ve met has been super friendly.”

He enjoys playing hockey and played on his high school hockey team. He also said he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, fishing and kayaking.


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