ND Game and Fish Dept. name employee of the year

North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following employees with special recognition awards at the department’s annual staff meeting in December.

Renae Schultz, private land biologist, Jamestown, was recognized for her attitude, persistence and efforts in coordinating a Private Lands Open to Sportsmen tract along the James River.

Mike Anderson, video project supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his planning, shooting, editing, script writing and voicing the North Dakota Outdoors weekly broadcast, in addition to hosting and editing the Game and Fish Department’s weekly online webcast.

Justin Mattson, administrative staff officer, Bismarck, was recognized for his work ethic, reliability and willingness to take on extra responsibilities in the administrative services division.

Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his work on several projects, including public shooting ranges, cover crops and GPS mapping for weed spraying.


Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird management supervisor, Bismarck, was recognized for his vision and coordination in combining the three separate small game, waterfowl and furbearer/trapping guides into one combined hunting and trapping guide.

Steve Dyke, conservation section leader, and Sandra Johnson and Elisha Mueller, conservation biologists, Bismarck, were recognized for their efforts in developing a new standard for wind project planning and siting in North Dakota.

In addition to special recognition recipients, Keenan Snyder, district game warden, Williston, was named North Dakota’s Boating Officer of the Year. His district has approximately 150 miles of shoreline bordering Lake Sakakawea and portions of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. Chief game warden Robert Timian said warden Snyder has been tasked with water patrols relating to monitoring environmental issues associated with oil activities in, on and around these three water bodies, and has met these challenges with enthusiasm, which reflects highly on the department and the community he serves.

Game and Fish Employee of the Year

Alan Reile, information technology coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, received the agency’s Director’s Award for professional excellence at the department’s annual staff meeting in December.

Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Reile has had a hand in making all staff more efficient by maintaining department systems, law enforcement technologies, video production, cyber security and desktop support.

“Alan consistently demonstrates professionalism by supporting our technologies and staff,” Steinwand said. “His ability and effort have helped us all perform at a very high level. Perhaps most of all, his commitment to the department and his willingness to help is recognized and appreciated by all.”

Wildlife Officer of the Year

Art Cox, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Bowman, is the state’s 2019 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Cox was honored recently by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.

In a nomination letter sent to Shikar-Safari, chief warden Robert Timian said Cox’s district contains a variety of wildlife and recreational areas that encompasses parts or all of four counties.


“Warden Cox has a large district that requires energy and dedication to patrol with elk, deer, pronghorn, grouse, partridge, waterfowl, fishing and pheasant seasons overlapping,” Timian said. “He is often pulled in different directions but always finds a way to get his mission completed, and has a great working relationship with the public and landowners in his district.”

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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