The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife has dedicated its annual teamwork service award to all employees who played a role in the 2011 Missouri River flood-prevention and relief efforts.
The Division Excellence in Teamwork Award is usually given to a specific group of employees who use coordinated efforts to accomplish projects. It was deemed in 2011 that the description fits all staff who were part of the Wildlife Division Missouri River Flood Response Team.
“The Division of Wildlife mission motto is ‘Serving People, Managing Wildlife,’ ” Division Director Tony Leif said. “There is a reason why we put ‘Serving People’ first in that statement. We put a high priority on working with the people of our state to manage our natural resources. I believe the valiant efforts on the part of our staff during the flooding of 2011 exemplifies our commitment to serving South Dakota’s people.”
More than 23,400 hours were expended to provide relief and support during the flood period. About 80 GFP staffers participated in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area and more than 50 staffers in the Dakota Dunes area.
Response efforts by Wildlife Division employees included: staffing at the State Emergency Operations Center; transporting sandbags, pumps, vehicles, boats and other flood-related materials; signing, inspection, security and wildlife control for levees; search and rescue teams; assisting homeowners on fish kill and disposal issues; coordinating water closures with the Governor’s Office.