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Russ Kinzler named Game and Fish Employee of the Year

Russ Kinzler, Missouri River System fisheries biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Riverdale, received the agency’s Director’s Award for professional excellence during the Department’s annual meeting Dec. 7 in Bismarck.

Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Kinzler is known for his commitment to his craft in his more than 20 years with the agency.

“Russ possesses an incredible work ethic, positive attitude, strong mechanical skills and field expertise, solid biological knowledge and maintains a great working relationship with various angling groups,” Steinwand said.

Kinzler was recognized for his role in designing and completing a wide range of management and research activities on the Missouri River System.

“All of his duties require an array of equipment, and Russ has the ability to keep it all working,” Steinwand said. “Often his skills are used in assisting other district offices, divisions and agencies.”

Greg Hastings named Wildlife Officer of the Year

Greg Hastings, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Jamestown, is the state’s 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Hastings 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 Hastings district boasts numerous lakes, rivers, reservoirs, wetlands and public hunting areas.

“There are tremendous fishing, hunting and boating opportunities throughout his district, and warden Hastings makes his presence felt by his dedication and perseverance,” Timian said. "He has strong communication and investigative skills, an understanding demeanor and makes good decisions."

Game and Fish recognizes employees' efforts

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 Dec. 7.

Todd Buckley, private land biologist, Williston, was recognized for his efforts working with landowners, deer depredation and many special projects that fall outside the normal private land duties.

Aaron Slominski, fisheries biologist, Williston, was recognized for his quick and timely efforts in setting up a cleaning site during the paddlefish snagging season.

Randy Meissner, Gail Mosset, Amanda Anstrom, Tracy Price, Tana Bentz and Tanya Mikkelson, licensing section, Bismarck, were recognized for meeting the challenges of implementing a new online services program for electronic licensing, while managing to handle hundreds of customer phone calls, including walk-in traffic, on a daily basis.

In addition to special recognition recipients, Zane Manhart, district game warden, Beach, was named North Dakota’s Boating Officer of the Year. Chief warden Robert Timian said Manhart’s work ethic and professional drive have created a safer boating environment on waters in southwestern North Dakota.

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