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agency information: About us

Vision - who do we strive to be?

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks will conserve our state's outdoor heritage to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.

MISSION - what do we do?

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state's parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.



Provide outdoor recreational opportunities.
Optimize the quantity and quality of sustainable hunting, fishing, camping, trapping and other outdoor recreational opportunities.


Serve as stewards of our state's outdoor resources.
Maintain and improve our outdoor resources to ensure sustainability.


Inspire confidence.
Instill trust from the people we serve through transparency and accountability.


Foster professional excellence.
Develop and empower highly engaged and well-trained staff.



We believe in a culture of professionalism and accountability to meet the expectations of our customers and empower staff to succeed.


We believe in applying biological and social sciences to conserve and respectfully manage our state’s outdoor resources for current and future generations.


We believe in being transparent and honest by promoting high ethical standards.


We believe in the dignity of each person and genuinely care for the people we serve.















2016-2020 strategic planning process

The strategic plan includes long-range goals and proactive objectives with shorter-term strategies for effective, measurable and accountable implementation. It serves as a roadmap, leading us from the current to the desired position; by providing ongoing direction and focus. This plan will continuously cycle; focusing on the department’s vision and mission as we incorporate the measurable outcomes and strategies in to our day to day business functions. A planning culture has been established. The department is committed to using this plan as a measuring tool for success which allows staff to continuously evaluate what is working and what is not working.

From the Ground Up
Our strategic planning process started at the ground level. In March 2016, nine staff focus groups sessions were conducted in Rapid City, Fort Pierre, Watertown and Sioux Falls with over 86 percent of employees attending (416 of 488). These focus group sessions provided staff with the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions and concerns from the very beginning.

The information from the focus groups was compiled into a 360 page document. Nearly 80 hours of staff time was spent on transcribing, analyzing and grouping the data from these sessions into common themes, or nodes. These nodes were used by department leadership and a 45-member strategic planning team to frame the plan’s vision, mission, values, goals, objectives and the preliminary strategies. This plan starts and ends with our staff. The feedback received through the focus group sessions is the heart of the strategic plan.

Planning Process Timeline and Retreat Reports
For details on how the department approached the planning process, please either view the formal report and/or the retreat summary reports.

Planning Team
A 45-member planning team was appointed in early 2016 to develop the first ever, department-wide strategic plan. Each person who contributed to the team did so in addition to their day to day responsibilities for the agency. They determined the four goals outlined above and what they mean to the success of the vision, mission and values. They also defined the objectives, drafted the measurable outcomes and developed the initial list of strategies. And lastly, but most importantly, they have been and continue to be advocates of the plan on a daily basis.

Staff Rollout
In August 2016, the department leadership traveled across the state to present the strategic planning process and the plan’s direction going forward. This was also a time for staff to ask questions and learn more about the work involved with how their feedback in the focus group sessions will lead the strategy development portion of the plan.

Stakeholder Engagement Sessions
In September 2016, the department hosted four stakeholder engagement sessions across the state in Rapid City, Fort Pierre, Sioux Falls and Watertown to gather input from stakeholders about the plan direction. These were invite-only sessions in which over 300 stakeholders from across the state were invited to attend. Of those 300, 100 individuals participated representing 68 different organizations.

Each stakeholder session included a presentation on the department’s strategic plan followed by large and small group discussions. The large group sessions solicited individual feedback about the participants’ satisfaction with the department’s current work while the small group discussions generated ideas about what future success looks like and what strategies would be needed to achieve success with an emphasis on strengthening partnerships. The majority of participants reported having had favorable experiences as partners and customers of the department. They also reported a high degree of optimism about their ability to partner with the department to help implement strategy ideas discussed during the sessions.

More information about who attended each regional session as well as regional summary reports can be found above.

2016-2020 Strategic Plan

2015 GFP Annual Report

2016 annual report

2015 GFP Annual Report
2015 GFP Annual Report