Keith Sexson typically goes to work at 8 a.m. and ends his day around 5 p.m. Between those hours, there is nothing typical, he says.

Keith Sexson typically goes to work at 8 a.m. and ends his day around 5 p.m. Between those hours, there is nothing typical, he says.

Assistant secretary for operations at the Pratt operations headquarters of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, he spends a “fair amount” of time in Topeka or other KDWP locations around the state or at meetings out of state. But even when he’s not in Pratt, he’s keeping up with work here.

“Except for something that needs signed, I’m not out of contact,” he said. “With new technology, there’s not much lost time.”

Last week he was in Topeka for two days, briefing Secretary Robin Jennison on law enforcement, attending a meeting on a research project and another one on state park planning and was updated on the process of developing the budget for fiscal year 2013.

During the week prior to that he attended a North American Wildlife conference. He’s heavily involved in national organizations and serves on committees and subcommittees.

When he’s in Pratt, Sexson starts his day responding to e-mails — communication is a big part of the job, he said. He reviews budgets, checks in with staff to see how everything is going and is available to them in an advisory capacity.

Every Monday he and other staff members participate in a legislative update by conference call.

Occasionally he gets out in the field, where he spent the first 30 years of his career with KDWP, involved in research projects on quail, deer, turkeys and big game. Since being named assistant secretary 11 years ago, he deals mainly with people.

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Sexson’s job, will change on July 1, when tourism officially becomes a part of the department. His duties will include oversight of wildlife, boating, law enforcement, education and ecological surveys. A new assistant secretary will be in charge of parks, currently part of Sexson’s job, and tourism. The goal is to grow the economy by putting greater emphasis on Kansas as a tourist destination.

Except for the structure change, Sexson said little else will change for wildlife and parks. Access programs, such as walk-in hunting and fishing, and involvement of youth in outdoor programs will continue to as two big areas of focus.

Other areas receiving attention are working with the wind power and transmission industry to minimize the impact on wildlife and monitoring game populations to set hunting seasons.

They take a proactive stance, and stay in touch with what’s happening in other agencies. For example, Sexson said, southwest Kansas has good numbers of lesser prairie chickens, partly because of success of the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). Other states have fewer numbers, and the game birds may be placed on a federal threatened species list.

“We have to put people on that,” Sexson said. “If we can see it coming and have the information, we can plan for it.”