GFP News - November 14, 2012
- Governor to Unveil SD TIPs Trailer
- Conservation Officer Honored Posthumously
- Mountain Lion Licenses Available
- Feed Winter Birds and Be a Citizen Scientist
- Grant Hits a Bullseye in South Dakota
- Fire Precautions Needed During Deer Seasons
Governor to Unveil SD TIPs Trailer
PIERRE, S.D. - A mobile fixture at South Dakota outdoor events, sports shows and festivals has received a facelift.
The educational trailer used for the Turn In Poachers (TIPS) program has several new photo "skins" on its exterior, making the traveling trailer more visible and inviting.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard will unveil the updated trailer on the grounds of the state Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 9:45 a.m. CST.
"The outdoor scenes depicted on the sides of the trailer, along with TIPS educational displays, serve as important tools that will draw attention to the problem of poaching in South Dakota," the Governor said.
"It's important for citizens to be aware that wildlife belong to all of us," Gov. Daugaard said.
TIPs information is used at educational and outdoor festivals; in Step Outside programs of the state Game, Fish and Parks Department; in hunter and angler education programs; and at many outdoor venues.
The TIPS program was started in South Dakota in 1984 in response to the illegal killing of two elk in the Black Hills. Within a year, the program was so successful that it was implemented statewide.
Since the program began, there have been more than 10,000 investigations, resulting in about 3,400 arrests. Poachers have paid more than $658,000 in fines, and an additional $509,000 in liquidated civil damages has been assessed.
TIPS has paid out more than $135,000 in cash rewards since 1984 to people who have supplied information leading to arrests in South Dakota.
The main goals of the TIPs program are to:
- Increase awareness of poaching problems
- Actively investigate all poaching violations
- Protect the stateâ€™s wildlife for future generations
- Serve as a deterrent to poaching
TIPS is a private, non-profit organization run by Wildlife Protection Incorporated. It is funded through donations from the big-game license application checkoff, private donations and court-ordered restitution. The TIPs program uses those for rewards, to erect highway signs, disseminate literature, and create TV and radio announcements and other items that promote the program.
Rewards are paid in cash after arrests have been made, and TIPS informants can remain anonymous.
"The citizens of South Dakota play a big part in making sure the state's wildlife is protected," said GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk. "This educational trailer is a great tool to educate people about the program. The goal is awareness. If people witness wildlife violations, we want their first thought to be, 'I need to dial 1-888-OVERBAG (683-7224).'"
People can also contact their local conservation officer or violations can be reported on the GFP website at: http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/law-enforcement/turn-in-poachers.aspx
Conservation Officer Honored Posthumously
PIERRE, S.D. - A South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks conservation officer who lost his battle with cancer this past summer is being honored in the naming of the agency's Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.
Brook Brown served as conservation officer for Hamlin County in northeastern South Dakota. This past spring he was named recipient of the boating officer award. Now his peers have dedicated the award in his memory, and it will be known in the future as the Brook Brown Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.
"Brook spent many hours on and off the water patrolling the lakes as well as attending association meetings, educating residents and answering questions," said Conservation Officer Supervisor Kraig Haase. "Brook's dedication to serving the public was evident by his enthusiasm and strong work ethic. There were not many summer weekends that Brook could not be found working on the water or at the lake."
Brown focused his patrol time on educating the boating public and building a close working relationship between GFP and the different stake holders in his area. When asked to take on additional duties, such as his work during the 2011 Missouri River flooding in both Pierre and Dakota Dunes, he was willing and able to take on those challenges.
One of his achievements on Lake Poinsett, where water levels peaked at five feet above the ordinary high water mark, was to work with the lake association to create a no-wake boating zone to protect shoreline and structures.
"With Brook's passing, we as conservation officers not only lost a valuable co-worker but also a member of our family," Haase said. "We will never forget Brook, and it is fitting that we name this boating award in his honor. He set the bar high, and future recipients can take great pride in being mentioned in connection with Brook Brown."
The award is sponsored by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement.