Ecola State Park

Job Opportunity: South Dakota Director of Parks and Recreation

Jan 11, 2023

Vacancy recruitment for South Dakota State Parks Director

South Dakota Director of Parks and Recreation(Job Id 21415)
Location Statewide, SD Post Date 01/09/2023 Agency Game Fish & Parks Close Date 01/23/2023 Employment Type Permanent Employee

Salary 101,288.88-108,509.14 US Description


Job ID: 21415
Agency: Department of Game, Fish and Parks - Parks and Recreation
Location: Statewide
Salary: $101,288.88 to $108,509.14 annually, depending on experience
Pay Grade: GO
Closing Date: 01/23/2023

This is a permanent, full-time position with the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. For more information on the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, please visit

Position Mission: To serve and connect people and families to the outdoors through effective management of South Dakota’s state park system.

Position Vision: Enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.

Position Purpose: The Director of Parks and Recreation will lead a team of outstanding professionals who are responsible for operating one of the best state park systems in the country. The Director will provide direction and vision for the improvement and sustainability of the Parks system and foster a culture of excellent customer service, employee engagement and resource management.

Duties include:

  • lead the Division of Parks and Recreation, which is responsible for an annual budget of over 50 million dollars, 150 full time employees, and a seasonal workforce of 400+ employees;
  • administer programs in operations, capitol development, trails systems, resource conservation, data management, visitor services, park programming, and revenue management;
  • develop and submit an annual budget and operation plan to the Secretary and Commission;
  • provide vision for the development and improvement of the state park system that meets current and future needs of South Dakota residents and helps stimulate state’s tourism industry;
  • maintain extensive contact with, and represent, the Division to state, federal, and other governmental agencies; tribes; the Legislature; the media; and general public through presentations and written reports;
  • identify administrative rule adjustments necessary to operate the state park system;
  • represent the department at Legislative hearings on matters concerning the state park system;
  • communicate with the public via state, regional, and community presentations and open forums to ensure the Division meets the needs and desires of the general public concerning our state parks and trail systems;
  • evaluate proposed projects, programs, and services to assure prioritization and efficiency of Division efforts;
  • provide regular communication within the Division to keep all employees informed and engaged;
  • interact with other staff for technical information required to make management decisions;
  • develop and implement strategic direction of the Division and the Department.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:
A degree in Park, Natural Resource, or Business Management and experience managing teams and projects is preferred.

Knowledge of:

  • principles and practices of parks management;
  • annual budget formulation requirements;
  • capitol development recommendations and planning;
  • personnel management principles.

Ability to:

  • effectively lead staff in completing parks management goals;
  • direct operations and technical services consistent with department goals and objectives;
  • clearly communicate Division and Department goals and objectives to staff, legislators, park users, media, and the general public.

Additional Requirements: To be considered, please attach your resume and cover letter.

This position is exempt from the Civil Service Act.

This position is eligible for Veterans’ Preference per ARSD 55:10:02:08.

The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The State of South Dakota as an employer will be using E-Verify to complete employment eligibility verification upon hire.

The State of South Dakota offers employer paid health insurance plus eleven paid holidays, generous vacation and sick leave accrual, dental, vision, and other insurance options, and retirement benefits. You can view our benefits information at This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

Must apply online:
You must apply online, emailed resumes or submissions will not be accepted.
South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
Telephone: 605.773.3148 Email:
"An Equal Opportunity Employer"

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