Join Our Team
Our skilled workforce believes in a culture of professionalism and accountability to meet the expectations of our customers while empowering one another to succeed.
Working for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is not just a job. It is a life passion. It is about working together as a team with colleagues, customers and partner organizations to ensure that our state’s outdoor heritage lives on for the next generation.
Create an Adventure in State Parks
The Division of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the maintenance and management of South Dakota’s state parks and recreational areas. Residents and visitors alike enjoy these special areas whether the sun is shining, leaves are turning or snow is falling. The state parks are a source for fun and activities year-round.
Park managers work to enhance, preserve and protect the resources and facilities of their assigned park district and provide recreational activities compatible with the resource. They also manage the daily operations and maintenance of a park unit or a collection of park units within a part district, are lead workers and provide work direction to permanent and/or seasonal staff or volunteers.
Park naturalists provide nature education courses and workshops by designing and producing interpretive exhibits and displays. They also assist with recruiting and training volunteers to help develop presentations and conduct workshops.
Conservation technicians maintain park facilities, grounds, campgrounds, roads and trails, and vehicles and equipment. They also prepare and maintain records and reports of work accomplished to ensure the quality of the park infrastructure is sound, presentation of the park is accessible and inviting, and maximum customer service is provided.
Explore the Wild Side of Our Wildlife
The Division of Wildlife manages South Dakota’s wildlife and fisheries within social, fiscal and biological constraints while serving as stewards of our state’s outdoor resources. Staff within the division work hard to enhance hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities for South Dakota’s outdoorsmen and women while partnering with private landowners and public land managers to collaboratively manage fish, wildlife and associated habitats.
Biologists are hired to research the habitat, production, distribution and other factors impacting the wildlife and fisheries resources. They plan research studies and implement management practices pertaining to habitat, production, distribution and natural balance to ensure sound management and conservation of fish and wildlife species out in the field or in one of the state's fish hatcheries.
Wildlife Damage Specialist
Wildlife damage specialists provide assistance in controlling and preventing depredation of livestock or losses of crops, forage or other property by wildlife. They provide educational presentations and demonstrations to promote hunting and trapping and also provide technical assistance to individuals requesting help with various wildlife-related problems.
Conservation technicians implement a variety of wildlife resources management projects such as planting crops and trees, taking care of fish from spawning through stocking, preventing wildlife depredation, harvesting timber and spraying weeds to comply with management plans designed to maintain and enhance habitat.
Other Areas Within Agency
The GFP finance staff implement directives from the Chief Finance Officer and follow accounting principles to record, research, analyze and develop reports for use in monitoring revenue and expenditures while creating financial reports and projections. Accountants also conduct daily business functions such as the reconciliation of accounts receivable and payable, allocation of funds and reporting of grant and fund balances.
Communications and Public Relations
Communicating with producers, sportsmen and women, special interest groups, legislators, our staff and anyone with a vested interest in South Dakota’s natural resources is critical. This team leads the media and public relations efforts as well as oversees the editorial content creation (print and digital), marketing, online infrastructure, graphic design, target market research, strategic communications outreach, brand management, photography, videography and other special projects for the entire agency. Open, transparent and consistent two-way communication is primary to all that unfolds within this team to inspire confidence from the customers we serve.
Conservation Officers and Park Rangers
Both positions are certified law enforcement. They provide safety and protection to the people of South Dakota while enforcing the laws put in place to conserve the state’s outdoor resources. Conservation officers manage wildlife, fisheries, water and land resources; enforce wildlife, criminal, and water laws; and implement department programs in assigned districts. Park rangers are certified law enforcement officers and enforce criminal laws and park rules and regulations.
The department’s engineering team serves as a supporting arm to provide engineering and construction management services. The team builds facilities, designs roads and small dams, stabilizes shorelines, enhances boating access, maps out utilities and creates recreational trails and shooting complexes.
Maps and geographic information are an integral part of nearly all aspects of what we do as an agency. Our agency was an early adopter of the GIS technology over 20 years ago; leading the way in viewing, analyzing and interpreting data on a daily basis from researching the movement of deer herds to developing map overlays through mobile apps and more. This team of experts ensures we continue to remain responsive to the needs of our staff and customers through the capabilities GIS offers.
Habitat is at the forefront of the conversation right now and our knowledgeable private lands habitat and access specialists continue to work hard to keep it there. Habitat specialist provide information and education to assist landowners in designing, developing and funding habitat on their land. They help to sustain strong partnerships with local, state and federal agencies; private conservation organizations and South Dakota landowners to ensure our wildlife and fisheries resources are available for everyone’s enjoyment.
Successful public participation is a continuous process within our agency led by our human dimensions staff. Public opinion, hunter harvest surveys, informational meetings and more are just a few of the examples in which GFP manages public input. If evaluating the mountain lion hunting season or the walk-in areas across the state are areas in which you are interested in; a career in human dimensions may be what you are looking for.
Outdoor educators within the department provide educational programming on hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting, archery and more to a variety of audiences through classes and hands on activities. These educators also work with distributing loaner equipment to individuals new to the outdoors or groups looking to set up an outdoor activity.