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Meet and greet meets in Great Bend
new kl lunch
Linda Craighead, assistant secretary of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, was in Great Bend on Thursday. KDWP and Tourism Commissioners met for their regular meeting at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center yesterday. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission met Thursday in Barton County, and area dignitaries joined with them in a "meet and greet" session over the noon hour.

There is a new state secretary, assistant secretary over tourism and three new commissioners.

Randy Doll, Leon, is a life-long Kansas resident and replaced Kelly Johnston as a commissioner. He has hunted and fished since he was a child, including at Cheyenne Bottoms. His grandfather and uncle owned farmland near Cheyenne Bottoms, and it is a tradition in his family to hunt in this area. He is areal estate developer.

"Cheyenne Bottoms is a magic place that needs to be managed for waterfowl for centuries," he said Thursday.

A bow hunter, Tom Dill, Salina, grew up on a farm. He has hunted and fished and enjoyed the outdoors, passing the tradition down to his two sons.

Dill replaced Doug Sebelius on the board. Donald Budd, Jr. from Kansas City has also been named to the board.

New Chairmen Gerald Lauber, Topeka, explained the roll of the advisory commission. "Seven of us from various areas try to represent interests and concerns of our constituents."

He said that he appreciates the hospitality of the Great Bend community.

"We thought it was a good opportunity to host lunch as a meet and greet," said Cris Collier, executive director of the Great Bend Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The GBCVB also introduced their brochure on Arkansas River Paddling and Cheyenne Bottoms Paddling, as well as paddling on Stone and Veteran’s Lake. Collier said that the purpose of the brochure was to explain safety, laws and areas available for paddling.

In the future, the GBCVB will also be introducing brochures on other outdoor activities such as hiking.