National Fish Habitat Board Chair, Hepler Selected as SD GFP Secretary

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today he has selected Kelly Hepler to serve as the next secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). Hepler currently serves as assistant commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), a position he has held since 2010.

“I’m thrilled Kelly has agreed to serve as our next secretary of Game, Fish and Parks and happy that we could help bring him back to South Dakota,” said Gov. Daugaard. “His wealth of knowledge and experience in handling complex issues will make him a real asset to our team.”

2014 National Fish Habitat Award Winners Honored

(Washington, DC) - The winners of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP)/American Fisheries Society (Habitat Section) Awards were honored for their extraordinary achievements at the Restore America’s Estuaries/Coastal Society Summit, in conjunction with the National Fish Habitat Board meeting on Wednesday, November 5th at the Gaylord Convention Center, just outside of Washington, DC. Tim Birdsong (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) (Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative) and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, were named as the recipients of the National Fish Habitat Award for Extraordinary Action in Support of Fish Habitat Conservation. This was the sixth year the National Fish Habitat Awards have been handed out, recognizing outstanding achievements in Fish Habitat Conservation.

DARE Coordinator, Hastings Earns National Award

Trout Unlimited’s Driftless Area Restoration Effort (DARE) and its project manager, Jeff Hastings, were honored Sept. 24 at the Wild Trout Symposium meeting in West Yellowstone, Montana. The Wild Trout Stewardship Award, presented every four years, honors “an outstanding fishery program that makes a strong contribution to the conservation or restoration of a coldwater fishery.”

Hastings, who spent more than 20 years as Vernon County conservationist before joining the TUDARE project in 2006, was recognized for his efforts to expand restoration resources and partnerships across the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.

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