North Dakota Director of Game and Fish

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North Dakota Director of Game and Fish
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $65,687,742
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder

Terry Steinwand.jpg
Name:  Terry Steinwand
Assumed office:  January 1, 2006
Compensation:  $118,416
Other North Dakota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service CommissionTax Commissioner
The North Dakota Director of Game and Fish is an appointed executive position in the North Dakota state government. The director serves as head of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, whose mission is "to protect, conserve and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat for sustained public consumptive and nonconsumptive use."[1]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Terry Steinwand. He was appointed to the position by former Governor John Hoeven (R) and assumed office Jaunary 1, 2006.[2]


See also North Dakota One Man Game and Fish Commission Referendum (1930)

Although the first game and fish laws were established in 1861 before North Dakota officially became a state, a game and fish department wasn't formed until 1893. At that time, the superintendent of irrigation and forestry was named commissioner. In 1909 the game and fish board was established, managing the affairs of the department until 1929 when the North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed legislation that placed the authority for administering the department in a single commissioner. In 1991, the title was changed from commissioner to director.[3]


There are no specific qualifications for this office.


North Dakota state government organizational chart

The director is appointed by the governor to a four-year term, beginning the first day of July after the governor's election.


In the event of a vacancy in the office of director, the governor may appoint a new director.


The duties of the director are outlined in Chapter 20-1.02 of the North Dakota Century Code:

  • enforce state laws involving wildlife
  • educate the public on conservation matters
  • manage the stock of fish in state waters
  • supervise the breeding, capture, distribution and preservation of game birds
  • maintain a registry of all hunting and fishing licenses


The department of game and fish in North Dakota has five divisions:

  • The Administrative Services Division manages general office and facility management, provides technical support for the rest of the department, issues all fishing, hunting and boating licenses, and serves as the strategic planning branch of the department. There are four offices within this division: accounting and basic operations, data processing, licensing and planning.
  • The Enforcement Divisionenforces North Dakota's game and fish laws, rules and regulations. The district game wardens who work in this division also provide educational programming and work with farmers to prevent wildlife predators from attacking crops and feed supplies.
  • The Fisheries Division administers the state's fish hatcheries, monitors the effects of sport fishing on lakes and fish populations and manages public facilities on lakes and ponds. There are three programs within this division: fish management, sport fisheries research and lake/stream management.
  • The Conservation and communications Division works to reduce the impact other state and federal agencies have on the natural habitats of the state's fish and wildlife. The staff also manages the endangered species programs, manages the department's publications and provides educational programming for hunters, boaters and the general public. There are three sections within this division: conservation, communications and outreach.
  • The Wildlife Division maintain natural habitats and wildlife management areas, conducts research to determine the hunting season each year and works with private land owners to make their lands accessible for hunting as well as the development of fish and wildlife habitats. There are three programs within this division: lands and development, game management and the private land habitat program.[3]

State budget

See also: North Dakota state budget and finances

The budget for the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $65,687,742.[4]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The North Dakota Director of Game and Fish is legally entitled to an annual salary in accordance with Title 54 of the North Dakota Century Code. Taking into account value adjustments, the statute contains compensation figures for the previous and current year only.[5]


In 2014, the director received a salary of $118,416, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the director was paid an estimated $113,856. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2012, the director was paid an estimated $107,328. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the North Dakota Director of Game and Fish has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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North Dakota Director of Game and Fish - Google News Feed

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Contact information

North Dakota Game and Fish Department
100 N. Bismarck Expressway
Bismarck, ND 58501-5095

Phone: 701-328-6305
Fax: 701-328-6352
Email: Game and Fish Department

See also

External links

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