Commission meeting archives


march 2012 Commission Meeting

March 1-2, 2012
Ft Pierre

Rules Proposed at this Meeting


Division of Administration

Action Items
Approve minutes of the January 12-13 meeting
Approval of minutes of the January 27, Special Teleconference meeting.
Additional Commissioner Salary Days
License List Requests

  • Dakota Wholesale Bait, Brookings, for the list of Wholesale Bait Dealers and Fish Hatchery license holders to enable contact of owners for meetings and share information; approved
  • Pierre Convention and Visitors Bureau for list of hunting and fishing license holders (4,000 hunting and 4,000 fishing), in particular those from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and Canada, for purposes of sending direct mail piece to promote hunting and fishing in the Pierre area; requesting exception from regular fee for lists; approved

Information items
License Sales Report

  • Through Feb. 22 license sales are nearly 25% ahead of same time in 2011; likely a product of mild winter weather, GFP has also done outreach to last year’s license buyers and lapsed buyers from 2010 encouraging them to purchase their license early

Resolution for approval of budget payment for employee bonus

  • A bill before the legislature would provide a one-time bonus for state employees; this bill has not passed out of the legislature, but as it now reads if it passed the bonus payment would be made on March 30, before the next Commission meeting
  • The Commission was asked to act on this resolution authorizing GFP payment of the salary adjustment as directed by law should the bill pass and be signed by the Governor now since payment would be required before they next met in April
  • Approved
  • Legislature passed the employee bonus plan after this was approved, and did so under a different bill number so the Resolution was amended to reflect this and approved by the Commission

Appointment to Parks and Wildlife Foundation Board

  • Former Commissioner McMahon had served as the board member and since he is no longer on the Commission a new representative is needed
  • Commissioner Cooper was appointed

2012 Legislative update

  • All of the bills pertaining to GFP have now been dealt with by legislature, either defeated, signed by Governor or awaiting the Governor’s signature
  • Commission will be asked to act on rule changes that will be in line with codified law changes in acted by legislative action
  • Secretary Vonk thanked staff for their work on legislation and extended a special thank you to Chris Hesla and the many members of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation and other groups for their work on issues

Habitat Partner of the Year Award

  • Kenneth McIlravy, a Haakon County rancher, was named GFP Habitat Partner of the Year
  • The McIlravy’s have a 12,000+ acre grass-based ranching operation that is both a working ranch and provides valuable habitat for a variety of species dependent on grassland, wetland, riparian and aquatic habitats; 1,800 acres is CRP and over 9,000 acres in Walk-In Area
  • Kenneth has been a willing partner with GFP on habitat enhancement programs as well as NRCS and Ecosystem Management Research Institute for innovative range management practices using native grasses, rotational grazing and prescribed burns
  • McIlravy spoke of his enthusiasm for the land and work that has been done on his land; Walk-In program has been a great experience

Open Forum

  • Dale Wedekind and John DiCiacio on Fall River Gun Club land exchange with GFP to facilitate a new shooting range; Tom Converse has offered land for trade and represents as close to a perfect solution as possible; presents a natural berm all the way around with an 800 yard range; skeet range; .22 range for kids; pistol range; all things vitally needed in Fall River County; potential for new range has helped increase membership and foresees tripling membership when gun range is fully operational; citizens are very supportive; potential  to pull in shooters from the immediate area and surround states for shooting events
  • Craig Solberg and Kevin Hipple spoke to the Commission about big game management issues; recommend that cow elk licenses be discontinued in Black Hills units due to steady decline of number of elk; discontinue issuing antlerless big game licenses when big game populations are in decline; reduced populations mean reduced opportunity for hunters and reduced economic benefit for state and local areas; mountain lion depredation will continue so need to continue hunting pressure on mountain lions; antelope susceptible to winter kill and their numbers have suffered yet seen little decrease in the number of doe/kid tags in many areas; not a good practice to continue issuing antlerless tags when a population is hitting rock bottom; encourages Commission to not issue any antlerless elk licenses this year

Public Hearing

Public Water Markings and Zones

  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Changes would: create a no wake zone on Richmond Lake (Brown County) during certain periods of high water; create a no wake zone on Mina Lake (Edmunds County) during certain periods of high water; create a no wake zone on Lake Mitchell (Davison County) during certain periods of high water; amend the boundaries of the existing no wake zone on the west end of Lake Mitchell; create an electric motors zone on the waters of Rolling Game Production Area (Lincoln County) where now any motor may be used; amend the existing zone on the waters of Family Park (Minnehaha County) from a no motors zone to an electric motors; amend existing zoning on the waters of Lewis and Clark Lake (Yankton County) adjacent to Canary Beach from public swimming zone to no wake zone.
  • Approved no wake zones for Richmond, Mina and Mitchell lakes
  • Approved the amended boundary on Lake Mitchell
  • Approved the creation of an electric motors only zone on waters of Rolling GPA
  • Denied Family Park proposal; received support from Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation, but also opponents who felt this area is heavily used and allowing electric motors on waters would lead to more congestion and detract from the recreational experience people now have; there was concern that large boats with only an electric motor could crowd the area; there was discussion on whether legalities for people with disabilities that would require allowance of some type of motorized boat on waters; Commission moved to table this item for consideration at a future meeting
  • Approved amending the zoning at Lewis and Clark Lake

Motorboat and Watercraft

  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Changes would: require that fire extinguishers aboard vessels must be in working order; expands allowance for emergency vessels may display flashing red lights as well as blue
  • Approved

Special Buck Hunting Season

  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Change would raise the number of nonresident West River Special Buck licenses from 500 to 600 and raise the fee from $500 to $600
  • Approximately 40 letters opposing the increase in license numbers and 7 supporting
  • Commission heard data on allocation and harvest of deer during West River Deer season with relationship between the Special Buck season and the regular season
  • Wondered about ability to manage special buck seasons by allocating licenses to specific units within the West River and East River season; it can be done, but it is not the original intent of the license to be valid on private land anywhere open to the West or East River Deer seasons
  • Special Buck license was not designed as a herd management tool; it is a matter of whether or not the presence of Special Buck licenses hinders chances to draw a license in the regular license drawing; the harvest from this season is included in overall management data, but it is not designed or intended as a herd management tool
  • It was suggested that the number of licenses available should go up or down with the overall deer population; there should be no guarantee of number available; request that staff review how licenses are allocated in future Special Buck seasons, including when numbers of licenses are developed and set
  • Commission voted 3-2 and motion failed (needed five votes to pass)
  • Season will have same structure as 2011 with 500 licenses available for all three and fee structure for nonresident West River remaining at $500

Paddlefish Snagging

  • No staff recommended changes from proposal
  • Change would do away with a size restriction for the new Lake Francis Case paddlefish season
  • The Lake Francis Case paddlefish population is made up of stocked fish and there is no need for a slot limit for this season; the Gavins Point Dam season has naturally produced paddlefish and there is a need for a slot limit there to protect those fish
  • Commission finalized as proposed

Hunting Season Proposals
CSP Bison Hunting Season

  • No recommended changes from 2011 seasons
  • The non-trophy bison hunt is another tool for moving surplus bison
  • Trophy season is used to remove older and over-aged bulls

CSP Deer Hunting Season

  • Recommended change from 2011 to eliminate the 35 1-tag antlerless whitetail licenses; and delete a wording change that duplicates what is already stated in another section of rule
  • Staff recommends eliminating antlerless tags in light of poor fawn recruitment and lower deer population; deer are an important part of wildlife viewing within Custer State Park
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

Elk Hunting Seasons

  • CSP Early Archery Elk – no recommended change from 2011, 3 “any” elk licenses available; season finalized with same structure as 2011
  • CSP Antlerless Elk – no change from 2011 and season remains closed; winter herd estimate for 2012 is 140 elk and cow/calf data indicate calf recruitment at only 13%
  • CSP Late Archery Elk – Proposed change from 2011 to close this season for 2012; 15 licenses in 2011, 13 hunted and none harvested an elk
  • CSP Any Elk – Proposed change from 2011 to reduce the number of licenses from 11 to 4 (this includes 1 license made available through a raffle conducted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)
  • Black Hills Archery Elk – Proposed changes from 2011 to adjust license numbers from 89 “any” elk licenses to 82 and from 37 “antlerless” elk licenses to 25; adjust the boundary of Unit 7 to include the area located within a line beginning at I-90 and Pleasant Valley Rd, then east and south on Pleasant Valley Rd. to Tilford Rd. then west on Tilford Rd. to I-90; and eliminate the archery season for Unit 30A
  • Black Hills Firearms Elk – Proposed changes from 2011 to adjust the number of licenses from 470 “any” elk to 395 and from 395 “antlerless” elk to 260; adjust the boundary of Unit 7 to include the area located within a line beginning at I-90 and Pleasant Valley Rd, then east and south on Pleasant Valley Rd. to Tilford Rd. then west on Tilford Rd. to I-90
  • Prairie Elk – Proposed changes from 2011 to adjust the number of “any” elk licenses from 49 to 47 and “antlerless” elk from 79 to 53; add Unit 27 (Fall River County) to include that portion of Fall River County south of the Cheyenne River and west of Highway 385.  Season dates:  September 1 – October 31; adjust the season dates for Unit 09A from September 1-October 31 to include for a split season of September 15-October 31 and December 1-15; and adjust the season dates for Unit 30A, currently written in administrative rule as “beginning on August 15 and remains open to the Friday closest to November 12, inclusive, and from the Monday closest to November 22 to December 31, inclusive”. Change dates for 2012 season to September 29 – October 28 and from December 1-31. This will coincide with the changes made by Nebraska for this shared elk unit

Bighorn Sheep Hunting Season

  • Black Hills season – proposed change from 2011 to reduce the number of licenses from 2 to 1 in Unit 1
  • Lamb recruitment remains poor, primarily due to pneumonia (46% of mortality) and predation (28% of mortality); poor recruitment and significantly reduced the number of rams being recruited into the herd, and the number of Class 1 and 2 rams available for harvest are fewer
  • Custer State Park season – no change from 2011 and season will remain closed for 2012

Mountain Goat Hunting Season

  • No change from 2011 and season will remain closed for 2012

Grouse Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 15 – Jan. 6; open statewide; daily limit 3 and possession limit 15; shooting hours sunrise to sunset

Pheasant Hunting Seasons

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Youth season Oct. 6-10; statewide except road rights-of-way; open to residents and nonresidents who are age 12 by Dec. 31 and no older than age 17; must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and the accompanying adult my not carry a firearm or actively participate in shooting pheasants; shooting hours 10 a.m. to sunset
  • Resident Only season Oct. 13-15; statewide on most public lands; shooting hours are noon to sunset
  • Regular season Oct. 20-Jan. 6; statewide; shooting hours noon to sunset through Oct. 26 and 10 a.m. to sunset for remainder of season

Partridge Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 15-Jan. 6; open statewide; shooting hours sunrise to sunset; daily limit 5 and possession limit 15

Quail Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Oct. 20-Jan. 6; open statewide; shooting hours sunrise to sunset; daily limit 5 and possession limit 15

Cottontail Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 1-Feb. 28; shooting hours sunrise to sunset; daily limit 10 and possession limit 30; landowners may take cottontail on their own property year-round without restriction

Squirrel Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 1-Feb. 28; shooting hours sunrise to sunset; daily limit 5 and possession limit 15

Crow & Crane Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Mar. 1-Apr. 30, 2013; no daily or possession limit

Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and season finalized with same structure as last year
  • Season dates Sept. 22-Nov. 18; shooting hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset; nontoxic shot only; daily limit 3 and possession limit 6

Snipe & Dove Hunting Season

  • No changes from 2011 and seasons finalized with same structure as last year
  • Snipe Sept. 1-Oct. 31; shooting hours sunrise to sunset; nontoxic shot only; daily limit 5 and possession limit 15
  • Dove Sept. 1-Nov. 9; shooting hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset; doves may only be shot while in flight all areas within 50 yards of public roadways are closed; persons younger than 18 must be accompanied by parent, guardian or responsible adult; Angostura Recreation Area west of the dam I closed to dove hunting; all other state park and recreation areas are closed to dove hunting; daily limit 15 and possession limit 30

Hunting Season Dates

  • Fall Turkey - Oct. 1 through Jan. 31
  • Archery Antelope - Aug. 18 through Sept. 29 and Oct. 15-31
  • Firearms Antelope - Sept. 29 through Oct. 14
  • Archery Deer - Sept. 22 through Jan. 15
  • Muzzleloader Deer - Dec. 1 through Jan. 15
  • Youth Deer - Sept. 8 through Jan. 15
  • Black Hills Deer - Nov. 1-30
  • West River Deer - Nov. 10-25
  • East River Deer - Nov. 17 through Dec. 2
Division of Parks and Recreation

Action items
Unattended Vehicle Park Entrance License Proposal

  • Recommended change: rule states that “the operator or the registered owner of the vehicle must pay $10.00 for a daily park entrance license for each day the vehicle is in the park…” and add, “except at Custer State Park where the fee is $15.00."
  • Also allows park visitor to apply total cost of daily park entrance license toward the purchase of an annual park entrance license
  • Commission approved recommendation for proposal

2012 Snowmobile Budget Amendment

  • This action was taken as part of the Resolution the Commission passed for employee bonus payment

Information items
Mountain Pine Beetle update

  • GFP working with Dept of Ag since 2004 in Sylvan Lake area
  • 2005-2010 treated over 71,000 trees
  • $2.1 million in emergency funds now available for treatment
  • Started work in late Sept. and have cut the number of trees that might be infested in half to around 110,000
  • Marking infested trees for cutting; have several crews with 80-100 people on any given day working on the trees; over 67,000 trees have been treated
  • Out of 90,000 trees marked for cutting around 80% are in operable grounds where tree can be reached and removed by crews; on inoperable grounds the trees are cut and chunked
  • Lethal baiting where tree is sprayed with an insecticide and a pheromone bait is put on the tree so bugs area attracted to treated trees and they will be killed
  • Doing some preventative spraying around the resort and cabins to preserve those trees; cost share program between Dept of Ag and private owners; offered opportunity to spray up to 20 trees; spray must be done on an annual basis

Flood Restoration update

  • Governor special appropriation bill included both Mountain Pine Beetle and flood recovery
  • $2 million to supplement Park Division efforts for flood restoration from $9 million damage
  • Still accessing damage and revising work and cost estimates
  • Tried to identify where could immediately start repairs and use existing resources to get facilities open; other areas were possible maintain what was there
  • To date have spent $1.5 million on trying to get parks open; most are cleaned up and tree removal and grass seeding are underway
  • Look toward FY13 budget request for more restoration; no FEMA reimbursement so that left a $2 million hole in budget which makes the Governor’s appropriation very important; will be able to do around $3 million work as part of FY13 budget; leave $2-3 million in projects with no identified funding
  • Continue to look for other funding opportunities and to future budgets for this work
  • Work so far on removing trees and cleaning up debris; still a question on tree mortality
  • This spring and summer all parks are open with some partial closures; hope to have all campsites open for reservation by June 15; one of big pushes to repair electrical structures within damaged parks; Oahe Downstream at Campground #3 suffered erosion and lost campsites, putting in rip-rap and trying to rebuild for campsites; restore Lewis & Clark Trail in Pierre in cooperation with city; working on west end of Farm Island, including boat ramp by Polo Field
  • Looking at future projects including shoreline protection projects, sedimentation issues and figure out what the new river structure is and how that affects boating access
  • Fisher Grove near Redfield has flooded four times in the past 3 years; small campground managed in cooperation with the local golf course; 85 year old bridge has been hit my many floods and is wearing out which will make the campground inaccessible, would cost $800,000 to build new; taking a good luck and what the future of Fisher Grove and what options are available including replacing the campsites to a day use area on the south side of the river and only use the bridge for pedestrian or biking traffic

Blood Run update

  • Phase 1 of Master Plan identifies Nelson Property and two additional tracts of land on SD side of Big Sioux River that are essential to bring this all together and optimize the opportunities for this area
  • Additional fund raising to purchase these additional areas for $2 million
  • FY13 budget includes about $400,000 in federal funds and $100,000 in state funds for access, trails and other development so public can start to use the area; hope to have this money available in July
  • Seasonal interpreter on site to host groups by this summer, will give citizens a chance to see and learn about this area; will live on site and work with other groups to get on site, learn about history and develop enthusiasm
  • Intend to introduce legislation next year to establish Blood Run as a state park
  • Will come back to the Commission next month to purchase the 60 acres of the Blood Run property that the Parks and Wildlife Foundation purchased at the appraised value; the Foundation will then commit their payment to purchase of more Blood Run property

Cedar Shore Resort

  • Ramkota interest in acquiring Cedar Shores has been put on hold due to potential problems with stability of property soils and structure and this is being closely monitored to determine what problems are and what can be done, so no sale is pending

Big Sioux Recreation Area

  • Looking to acquire 12 additional acres of land to the area and provide an area along the river for additional recreation use, including access to the river for fishing, trail access, field training of dogs
  • This will allow east and west side holdings to all be connected and accessible
  • Cost share with city of Brandon to provide 1/3 of funding
Division of Wildlife

Action items
2012 Wildlife Budget Amendment

  • This amendment is being put in place in the event a bill in legislature to provide a one-time bonus to state employees is passed; the bill designates payment of the bonus on March 30, before the next Commission meeting so approval is necessary now with the actual adjustment contingent upon the bill passing through legislature and being signed by the Governor

Buffalo Gap GPA-Conger Ranch Exchange

  • Land exchange of 156.3 acres of GPA with155.8 acres of ranch land, both with same appraised value
  • This would facilitate development of a shooting range for Fall River County, which would not be compatible on the existing GPA
  • Congers, the landowner and a shooting club member, wished to obtain GFP property
  • Commission approved a resolution allowing the Division of Wildlife to proceed with the property exchange

Information items
Mountain lion hunting season update

  • Harvest limit was met on March 1 with total of 72 taken
  • 45 females and 27 males
  • A distribution of lion harvest throughout the state; four within CSP but around a dozen taken just outside the park boundaries
  • Season had a good start, but then was fairly slow until snow events expedited harvest
  • Will survey hunters who were part of the CSP access permit process and get additional information on their hunt for possible future adjustments
  • Around 3,400 licenses purchased for 2012 compared to 2,300 in 2011 so about a 50% increase
  • Biologists and staff will use information gathered from harvest to go with other data and further determine population progression
  • 35 reported tracking animals through the snow before taking, and 27 by calling for primary methods of take

Elk Population update

  • A species native to the Black Hills, first hunting season was in 1952; from 1950-80 there was a low elk population
  • 1980-90 began transplant of elk from Wind Cave; population grew to large numbers through 1990s and early 2000s
  • Fall counts from Aug-Sept to gather age and sex ratio data; classified 1,123 elk in 2011; this year 22 bulls per 100 cows
  • Aerial surveys; just completed study to determine elk sightability in the Black Hills; have counted around 960 animals so far for raw data
  • Elk numbers peaked in 2005 and worked hard to reduce the population as part of landowner tolerance and health of the herd; now harvest more bulls than cows; majority of bull harvest (65%) in the Black Hills was mature bulls
  • New research project to look at movement, survival and recruitment of elk in the Black Hills; elk capture for this study starts soon
  • In one study area mountain lion diet was 66% whitetail deer
  • For Custer State Park  surveys are done in the fall when elk are together and helicopter surveys in the winter when snow available; from 2006-2007 cow/calf ratio dropped from 40 to 20 and has remained low; management plan calls for approximately 1000 head, since 2007 have been below 800; pregnancy rate has dropped below 40%, which is very poor, should be around 90%; study initiated last year to evaluate movement, nutrional condition, pregnancy rates, and calf survival in southern Black Hills; annual survival around 78% and needs to be 90%; marked 30 calves with 9% survival (16 lion depredation); just finished a helicopter capture of 41 cow elk, 39 of 41 were pregnant and cows were in good shape

Bighorn Sheep Population update

  • Reintroduced into CSP in 1922; increased to 150 head and stabilized until die-off in 1959 with only one survival; second introduction in 1965 with supplemental introduction in 1999; limited trophy harvest began in 1972; pneumonia die-off in 2005 resulted in hunting season closure; the following summer estimated around 48 sheep left from 240; lamb production survival has been almost nonexistent until now; 4 lambs survived into winter and sheep did not display symptoms of pneumonia; now have 25 bighorns in the Park
  • Black Hills bighorn Audubon’s native to South Dakota but wiped out by unregulated hunting and disease events; by 1920s had been extirpated; 1961 sheep transplanted to Slim Buttes, 1964 to Badlands, 1965 to CSP from Whiskey Mountain Wyoming, 1991 to Spring Creek Canyon from Colorado and the Badlands, and in 2001 to Elk Mountain; four herds in SD at Badlands, Custer State Park, main Black Hills herd at Spring Creek that includes those seen at Cleghorn Springs, and the new Elk Mountain herd along Wyoming State line in southwest Hills; sheep herds are easily stressed and suffer from human sprawl, competition with other grazers, domestic sheep and goats may transmit disease that bighorn are very susceptible to, lions are an issue, fire management suppression can be bad for bighorn sheep which like very open and rugged terrain; vehicle strikes have been a problem and extensive signing has been done to prevent vehicle collisions with bighorn; study on adult ewes and found 80% survival of 29 collared in 2010 and 86% survival of 47 collared in 2011; lamb mortality showed 46% from pneumonia and 28% from predation; research project at Elk Mountain to determine population estimate, determine movements, survival, specific causes of mortality, recruitment of adults and lambs into population, and access genetic diversity

Forest Service Cooperative Fisheries Projects

  • Ft Pierre National Grasslands small impoundment work
  • 116,000 acres of public land with prairie wildlife habitat but also small ponds and stock dams with bass and panfish available
  • 2006 approached by US Forest Service to see if we would like to work on fisheries management; 44 ponds with viable fisheries in them; overall around 735 acres of water scattered throughout the area
  • Prioritize ponds from high to low priority
  • Provided information to help develop travel management options for the Grasslands with consideration for access of priority fishing spots
  • Will look at some fencing for high priority areas to prevent erosion and sedimentation into these waters
  • Use frame nets to sample fish; some very good bluegills present; have not had much problem with northern pike which would be very troublesome in small ponds; a lot of proud angler-sized bullheads; excellent fishing in spring before weeds come up
  • Heavy rains last June breeched some of the dams; Richland lost its secondary spillway; got a contractor on the scene right away and were able to save the dame; Forest Service did a major rebuild with rip-rap to protect the dam; added a spillway outlet tube
  • Sheriff Dam also was in danger of being lost but were able to do quick repair and improve the dam and spillway system
  • Future management issues include dealing with breached dams, high water and low water, and the illegal movement of fish

East meets West Education Event Report

  • Chairman Jeff Olson expressed his appreciation for the development of programming at The Outdoor Campus West and the number of visitors that have been frequenting the facility, especially on weekends
  • The Outdoor Campus East from Sioux Falls visited TOC-West to share programming and create a gateway event for Rapid City
  • The event included 4 days of school programs; 288 students from K-8; topics included animal tracks, orienteering, fishing, outdoor cooking, and Lewis and Clark
  • Saturday and Sunday was set aside for Open House activities open to the general public and included bird feeders, track station, fly tying, turkey table, critter crates and making antler necklaces; crafts are a great way to introduce people, especially kids, to hunting and fishing activities
  • Other naturalist classes include beaver, animal noses, wild dogs of SD, furry animals, how animals survive in the snow; 306 participants age 3-12
  • Hosted many outdoor activities with nature hikes and other activities; the outdoor experience is the major part of the outdoor experience and the building facility is there as a gateway to that
  • Staff also worked with teaching the teachers, including staff learning from one another

Upcoming Open House Events

  • Brookings - March 12
  • Armour - March 13
  • Highmore - March 15
  • Pierre - March 20
  • White River - March 22
  • Elk Point - March 26
  • Mound City - March 27
  • Huron - April 3
  • Sioux Falls - April 9
  • Madison - April 30

Rapid City Meeting

  • It is planned to have an information gathering meeting in Rapid City in late March to take comments on the elk hunting season proposals
  • E-mail messages before and after Commission meetings are being sent to the public to help get out work of upcoming action and followup on action that has been taken

Wolves in SD

  • Strong interest in what is happening around the nation with wolves
  • Used to roam the entire continent of North America
  • Wolf has never been listed as a state threatened or endangered species; in main area of the wolf range the animal has made a fairly complete recovery
  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service has delisted the Great Lakes wolf population and in Montana and several other northwestern states; wolves in Wyoming will soon be delisted if no further legal challenges
  • SD is between these two distinct populations and the line between the two populations runs right down between North and South Dakota; currently eastern SD is delisted but western SD is included as a recovery area and wolves are still listed there
  • USFWS wishes to step up recovery of wolves in southern Rocky Mtns
  • Hope that over course of next calendar year wolves will be delisted in western SD; this will give consistent management authority for the entire state to GFP

Governance Meeting Discussion