March 21, 2006
Raleigh, N.C. – Master Officer Timothy
Lominac of Murphy has been named North Carolina’s Wildlife
Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Lominac, an 11-year veteran of the
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, received the honor alongside 17
winners in other categories at the Governor’s Conservation
Achievement Awards banquet, held March 11 in Raleigh. The awards are
the highest natural resource honor in the state, presented annually
by the N.C. Wildlife Federation to recognize those who have exhibited
an unwavering commitment to conservation.
Lominac was honored for his efforts in law enforcement, which include
breaking up a deer and turkey poaching ring in Cherokee County. That
case began with a random spotlighting arrest in the Nantahala
National Forest. Lominac continued the investigation, both in the
field and through computer data-based research, which eventually led
to nine people being charged with 150 wildlife violations and 47 drug
“It never occurs to most people that our wildlife resources are under
threat from elements such as interstate theft conspiracies and crime
rings large enough to have bona fide ring leaders,” said T. Edwards
Nickens, chairman of the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards
Program. “Nor does it occur to most people that there are enforcement
officers such as Tim Lominac, who puts his life on the line for the
wildlife of Cherokee and Macon counties. The Governor's Conservation
Achievement Awards program is designed to shine a spotlight on
‘conservation heroes,’ and few fit the bill as well as Tim Lominac.”
Lominac quickly credits the cooperation of fellow officers with the
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and other area law enforcement
agencies for the success in shutting down the criminal enterprise.
“Without their assistance it would have been too great a challenge to
serve the many warrants and log the mounds of evidence,” he said.
Lominac was also recognized for outstanding work in conservation
education. He conducts regular programs in boater safety
certification, hunter safety programs and youth fishing events. He is
involved in school programs and efforts to build community awareness
of natural resource conservation.
“I’m most proud of our hunter safety program,” he said. “We have
participation of all three high schools here (in Cherokee County) and
have teams competing in the Youth Hunter Safety Tournaments. The
commitment of the coaches and the kids is just great.”
A native of Cherokee County and a Murphy High School graduate,
Lominac earned a degree in criminal justice from Western Carolina
University. He began work for the Wildlife Resource Commission in
Alleghany County in 1994 and was later stationed in Graham County
before returning home to his current assignment.
“You really take things to heart when its home,” Lominac said.
“There’s a strong heritage in the mountains of folks enjoying the
outdoors, parents going hunting and fishing with their children. You
want to work hard to protect those resources.”
Lominac is no stranger to awards. In January, he was presented the
Officer of the Year award by the North Carolina chapter of the
National Wild Turkey Federation. He was one of four N.C. Wildlife
Resources Commission officers officially thanked last year by the FBI
and the law enforcement unit of the U.S. Forest Service for their
persistence and cooperative spirit during the five-year manhunt for
federal fugitive Eric Rudolph, who hid out in the Murphy area.
Lominac lives in Murphy with his wife Shannon and their two sons,
Cody, 5 years old, and Caleb, 3 years old.