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GFP News - May 21, 2014

Stokely Named Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year

PIERRE, S.D. - The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has named Tony Stokely the 2014 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year. Stokely is a conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP); stationed in Elk Point.

"Tony is highly experienced and knowledgeable in the field of boating enforcement and patrols one of the most unique and complex bodies of water in the state," said Brandon Gust, GFP boating law administrator. "He patrols over 50 miles of river in the southeastern corner of the state and works in one of the only remaining stretches of water similar to what Lewis and Clark encountered on their historic expedition."

Gust acknowledged that Stokely is routinely faced with hazardous and unknown river conditions; yet has always excelled in his boating enforcement efforts.

"Maintaining the safe use of our water resources is an important part of every conservation officer's work; especially during the summer months," Gust concluded. "Stokely continues to ensure boaters meet proper safety requirements and enforces state boating laws to preserve public safety."

About the Award: The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' (NASBLA) award is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement.

The awards program consists of three levels: state, regional and national. State nominees are selected by the state boating law administrator. State nominees continue to regional competition, where they are reviewed, and one winner per region is selected by the three regional awards committees. Regional award winners are submitted to NASBLA's Awards Committee for review and selection of the national award.

The South Dakota award was renamed to honor a previous recipient and GFP conservation officer, Brook Brown. Brown lost his battle with cancer during the summer of 2012 and was well known for his contributions to the state's boating enforcement and education efforts.

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