Gov. Noem names interim secretary of Game, Fish and Parks

November 16, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that Kevin Robling will serve as Interim Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

“I am excited to announce that Kevin will serve the state in this capacity,” said Governor Noem. “Kevin has a great understanding of our natural resource and conservation priorities, and I look forward to working together to protect and promote all the outdoor opportunities that South Dakota has to offer.”

Robling will begin serving following the retirement of current Secretary of Game, Fish and Parks Kelly Hepler on Dec. 15, 2020.

“Kelly is an accomplished leader and has been a fierce advocate in the fish and wildlife resource management field for over 40 years,” said Governor Noem. “He has been a dedicated public servant to the State of South Dakota since 2015, navigating countless challenges to protect our state’s natural resources. As he retires, I know he will enjoy even more time in our great outdoors, hunting with his dog, Marty. I wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Robling received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from South Dakota State University and began his career with the department in 2011 when was hired on as a resource biologist in Sioux Falls and was promoted to a big game biologist in 2012 out of Rapid City. In 2017, he transitioned into a leadership role under Secretary Hepler working with the GFP Commission and the state Legislature to enhance recreational opportunities and simplify regulations that have significantly reduced barriers to outdoor participation.

“I am honored to serve as the department interim secretary for Governor Noem and the great people that enjoy the incredible outdoor resources we have here in South Dakota,” said Deputy Secretary Kevin Robling. “I want to personally thank Secretary Hepler for his leadership and dedication over the last five years and I look forward, under Governor Noem’s direction, to ensure that South Dakota’s strong outdoor heritage continues to remain a top priority for current and future generations.”

Robling and his wife, Holly, have three young children and reside east of Pierre.