Art Haugen was born on February 10, 1955 in Outlook, Saskatchewan and lost his life while on duty in an aircraft accident near Southend, Saskatchewan on July 26, 1991. The accident occurred shortly after the float plane aircraft had taken off for a district fire patrol and to service a remote patrol cabin. The pilot and two forest protection workers also died in the accident.
To a lot of people Art appeared as a firearm and hunting fanatic. To a large degree that is true. The same can be said of his work as a Conservation Officer, protecting and managing Saskatchewan’s natural resources. If anything was worth doing, then Art put everything into it and ensured that it was done right.
Being a Conservation Officer was not just a job to Art. Rifles, archery, hunting and fishing were not just hobbies to Art. These things WERE very much Art Haugen. He lived these things. Art’s parents related a story on how his father mentioned to Art that he was going to shoot his deer early, before they got too jumpy from other hunters. Art replied, “Don’t let me catch you or I’ll run you in.” This is not to say Art was an over zealous enforcement officer, or that he would charge his own mother or father. Art had a clear picture as to what was right and wrong and if you chose to be wrong, then Art would let very little stand in his way to see that your were caught and answered for your actions.
Art earned respect both on and off the job in every location he worked. Art had tremendous potential, ideas and plans that would have benefited Saskatchewan’s people, the Department of Parks and Renewable Resources and our natural resources. His supervisors recognized this and he was promoted to a Conservation Officer IV position, supervising the second largest resource district in Saskatchewan. Art went to Southend with the goal to do his best and was determined not to let himself or anyone else down. No one had anticipated the final price that Art was to pay for this, his chosen career. Art was proud to be a Conservation Officer and Saskatchewan should be proud to have had a Conservation Officer like Art Haugen.