GFP Secretary John Cooper announces retirement plans

As printed at, the associated press is reporting that GFP Secretary John Cooper has announced that he is retiring at the end of the end of the year:
The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department has started a yearlong transition caused by the retirement of longtime veterans in management positions.

Secretary John Cooper and state Wildlife Director Doug Hansen are two of the officials who plan to retire.

Cooper, 61, was hired by former Gov. Bill Janklow in April 1995 and oversees a department with more than 500 employees and a budget of almost $60 million.

The high-profile post has often put the secretary in the position of defending agency policy that occasionally upset hunters, anglers, landowners, and politicians.

Two of the most recent controversies involved GF&P management policies on mountain lions and an ongoing dispute with West River landowners over law-enforcement policies for conservation officers.

Cooper is planning to retire at the end of the year, but the California native and Vietnam veteran said he may still work part-time under Gov. Mike Rounds if the current governor wins re-election in November. Cooper would work on special projects including river flows and water levels on the Missouri River.
Read it all here. I've been acquainted with John (or "Coop" as he's known to his friends) for several years, and I couldn't say a harsh word about him if I tried. He's a gentleman in every sense of the word, who's sometimes forced into difficult and unpopular situations by managing a department which regulates some of South Dakota's most popular past times.

John, congratulations on your upcoming retirement from the SDWC!


been there said…
I could, he talks too much!
Anonymous said…
This is great news. Liberal, environmentalists will undoubtedly be disappointed; but South Dakotans will truly benefit. It is funny how this retirement coincided with the election. Too bad the democrats didn't nominate someone who could have won.
Anonymous said…
It is great news. Cooper may have been a loyal soldier, but he is no conservative, especially where private property rights are involved. On that issue at least, his views are decidedly socialist and we're glad to see him leaving. It can't happen soon enough.

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