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Gov. Noem appoints Webster man to Game Fish and Parks committee

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she has appointed Travis Bies of Fairburn and Robert Whitmyre of Webster to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission.


“Travis and Robert have proven their commitment to South Dakota and will bring new perspectives to outdoor recreation and habitat resources,” said Noem. “I appreciate their willingness to serve and make our state a better place to live and work – not only for today, but for the next generation.”


Bies is a third-generation commercial cow/calf producer and has seen the way wildlife plays a role in his ranch's ecosystem. He lives in Custer County and has five children.


"Every day, we see mule deer, whitetails, prairie dogs, birds and more. Seeing wildlife on the ranch is a sign that we're managing our resources properly, not only for our livestock, but also for the wildlife and the next generation of ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts," said Bies. “I look forward to serving South Dakota in this new role.”


Whitmyre is an East River farmer and has lived in Day County for more than 50 years. He and his wife, Tonia, have been married for 29 years and have three children.


“I am honored to accept this appointment from Governor Noem,” said Whitmyre. “Outdoor recreation and caring for the land are not just things we do around here; it is who we are. Serving for the next generation is important to me to ensure that we are continuously enhancing the quantity and quality of outdoor recreational opportunities with a peaceful and respectful approach.”


Bies will replace Barry Jensen of White River. Whitmyre will replace Cathy Peterson of Salem. Both will attend their first commission meeting on February 28 in Pierre. Their terms expire on January 10, 2023.


The GFP Commission serves as the advocate and liaison between the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and its stakeholders – the people of South Dakota. The Commission consists of eight members, appointed by the Governor for four year terms. For more information on the Commission and the 2019 meeting schedule, please visit