My erstwhile State Senator Russell Olson returns to Pierre as the newest Game Fish and Parks Commissioner:
“Russ will be a great addition to the Game, Fish and Parks Commission. He is an avid outdoorsman who is committed to conservation,” said Gov. Daugaard. “I appreciate Russ’ willingness to serve in this important role.”
…“As a lifelong resident, with generations of hunting and fishing traditions on both sides of my family, I want to do my part to make sure that the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts are able to enjoy the outdoors as I have,” said Olson. “It is vital that we continue to build better relationships with landowners as they hold the key to access and stewardship of one of South Dakota’s most precious resources” [State of South Dakota, press release, 2015.12.29].
While I appreciate the value of hunting and fishing as human activities and economic boosters, I also recognize that there’s a lot more to enjoying the outdoors than catching and eating its furry, feathery, and scaly components. I look forward to the day when the state touts a GF&P commissioner’s avid outdoorsmanship by pointing to his or her hiking, biking, swimming, and snowshoeing.
Olson takes one of the four non-farm seats on the eight-member GF&P commission. SDCL 41-2-2 requires that four members of the commission “be farmers actually residing on a farm, engaged in agriculture, deriving at least two-thirds of their gross annual incomes from crop or livestock production or both, and interested in wildlife conservation.”