Southeast Regional Advisory panel

December 2013 Summary

Southeastern Regional Advisory Panel
Meeting Notes for December 3, 2013


Panel Members: Bob Vosburg, Jim Headley, Tim Gutormson, Dick Behl, John Hemmingstad, and Jon Brown

GFP employees: Arden Petersen, Emmett Keyser, Julie DeJong, Jeremy Roe, Sam Schelhaas, Steve VanderBeek, and Kathy Nedved

Absent panel member: Tim Neises, and Del Ochsner

Welcome and Introductions - Arden Petersen, Regional Supervisor

  • Welcomed RAP members and introduced Julie DeJong, Regional Program Manager - Wildlife; Sam Schelhaas and Jeremy Roe, District Conservation Officer Supervisors. 
  • Updated panel members on Ron Schauer's retirement/Julie DeJong's promotion, and the Department's reorganization/addition of District Conservation Officer Supervisors.

CO District Updates - Sam Schelhaas and Jeremy Roe, District CO Supervisors

  • Sam identified the counties and officers in his district. He proceeded to inform panel members of the main law enforcement issues in the South District of Region 3:
    - Boating
    - Duck hunting
    - Border issues with Nebraska and Iowa
    - Deer hunting - deer are numbers are low in the South
  • Jeremy also identified the West District and the law enforcement issues GFP personnel dealt with:
    - Lack of pheasants this year
    - Deer hunting
    - Spotlighting - There have been over 30 citations so far this year. This lead to a very interesting discussion, including rules and regulations of spotlighting.

Division Budget - Emmett Keyser, Assistant Director - Operations

  • Emmett touched on budget issues facing the Division and some of the actions the agency has taken to date to address revenue shortfalls:
    1. There have been spending cuts made across all Division regional and program budgets.
    2. The Division has made application to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Aid Office in an effort to seek approval to include additional wildlife management activities under our Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid Program Grant. 
    3. The GFP Commission approved license fee increases.

Division Review Summary - Emmett Keyser, Assistant Director - Operations

  • Emmett handed out the Big Game Management Action Plan resulting from the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) review of the Division of Wildlife. This document originated from the results of public surveys, employee surveys and highlighted the following four major areas the Dept. should, and will be, working on:
    - Population Monitoring
    - Management Plans
    - Communications (internal and external)
    - Commission Regulation Development (CRD) Process

Pheasant Habitat Summit - Emmett Keyser, Assistant Director - Operations

  • Emmett handed out information regarding the Summit and explained what it will consist of. He encouraged panel members to attend and/or share any ideas they have. Some good suggestions from panel members were generated from this discussion, including:
    1. Could the state could implement a Habitat Stamp, with funds going to improving habitat. 
    2. There was some discussion regarding maximizing habitat management on Game Production Areas. Local conservation groups, similar to GFP's lease agreement with the Jerauld County Sportsman's Club, could assist with food plots and grass plantings since they already have a conservation mind-set and the motivation to help.

Non-Meandered Waters Bill - Emmett Keyser, Assistant Director - Operations

  • Emmett explained the difference between meandered waters and non-meandered waters. There have been some situations where public access to non-meandered waters has caused conflicts given the property underneath the water belongs to the private landowners.
    - Some discussion took place regarding allowing tax breaks for landowners who have flooded private land as a means to allow the public to utilize the water?
    - The group asked whether or not landowners should be able to "section off" a portion of the water for just themselves? 

Deer Studies, Populations - Julie DeJong, Regional Program Manager - Wildlife

  • Julie shared information with the panel members in regards to R3 deer populations.
  • Discussion points revolved around EHD, habitat loss and low fawn recruitment affecting the 2013 deer population.
  • Julie discussed the fawn study in the Region, including how many fawns were collared, their survival rate and how far they traveled.
  • She also discussed the proposed doe study for 2014 in Region 3, which is critical to get more important data on doe survival.
  • The group was very interested in our buck to doe ratio and the number and type of deer tags offered in individual east river counties.

Canada Goose Hunting Rules - Tim Gutormson, Panel Member

  • Tim suggested the agency to allow Canada goose hunting until 30 minutes after sunset for field hunting, as many geese often don't leave the water to feed until late in the day? Tim believes this would provide some added recreation for kids after school.

Closing Comments - Arden Petersen

  • The agenda topics that weren't covered this time will be discussed in the next meeting:
    - Big game hunting rules
    - Canada goose hunting rules
    - More hunting access - Big Sioux & East River
  • Arden thanked panel members for their time and commitment.

Next RAP meeting tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 13 - possibly in Mitchell or Brookings.

Meeting adjourned at 5:10pm.