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Minnesota DNR & MN TIP Announce Cell Phone Number
by Al Thomas

Minnesota cell phone users can now report natural resources violations by dialing #TIP

Cell phone companies Cingular Wireless, Midwest Wireless, Unicel, and Verizon Wireless have joined with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Turn-In-Poachers, Inc. (TIP) in calling a halt to natural resources violations in Minnesota.

Verizon Wireless, Unicel, Midwest Wireless, and Cingular Wireless customers can now report natural resources violations 24 hours a day by keying #TIP.

“#TIP is the wildlife version of 911 and a great example of the public and private sectors using the latest technology to provide information to conservation officers about a natural resources violation,” said Minnesota’s Chief Conservation Officer, Colonel Mike Hamm. “Conservation officers need the eyes and ears of every outdoor enthusiast to help detect violations and protect our natural resources.

For example, if a man hunting in remote northeast Minnesota witnesses a deer poaching incident he can use his cellular telephone, dial #TIP and immediately be in touch with Turn-In-Poachers (TIP). At the same time a woman fishing on the Mississippi River sees a fishing violation. She picks up her cellular telephone and dials #TIP as did the man in northeast Minnesota. TIP then relays the message to a conservation officer.

The current TIP Hotline Number, 1-800-652-9093, is still accessible by cell or landline callers who want to report natural resources violations, however, cell callers now have the advantage of an easy to remember shortcut in #TIP.

Hamm went on to say the TIP Hotline, like 911, is a system to report violations and is not intended to be used as a general DNR information line. Callers using the hotline are able to remain anonymous and provide information on violations. Callers inquiring about general DNR information should call the DNR information Center or a local DNR office.

“#TIP provides another asset to natural resources protection,” Hamm said. The colonel went on to say, “The key to this program is the easy to remember calling sequence and cellular phone.” Hamm encourages those who participate in outdoor recreation to take their cell phones with them to the fields, woods, and on the water. If they see a violation key #TIP on their cell phone keypad to report it.

TIP is a non-profit, privately funded organization whose mission the last 25 years has been to halt the illegal poaching of game and fish in Minnesota. TIP Executive Director Al Thomas noted, “TIP and the DNR are also erecting TIP Hotline signs on Wildlife Management Areas and Public Boat Accesses this year to increase awareness of the TIP hotline. Our goal is to call a halt to natural resources violations in Minnesota.”

Al Thomas
Executive Director - Turn In Poachers, Inc.

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