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March 2013 Commission Meeting

March 7-8, 2013
Ft Pierre - AmericInn

summary

Division of Administration Audio

Action Items
Approve minutes of the January meeting:
http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/archive/2013/january/minutes.pdf

Approve minutes of the February Teleconference meeting: http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/archive/2013/feb_teleconference/minutes.pdf

Additional Commissioner Salary Days

License List Requests

  • Scheels All Sports request list for 10,000 resident fishing license holders (5,000 within a radius of each of the two Scheels stores in SD); will be used for a direct mail card; approved

Information items
License Sales Report

  • License sales have increased by 10.5% over same time in 2012, again spurred by sale of fishing and combination licenses

2013 Legislative Update

  • Director Leif updated on Division of Wildlife legislation: four bills dealt with Animal Damage Control program, one to expand members on policy advisory committee, increase predator control district levies, and one to appropriate fund while HB1123 went to a conference committee for some resolution and once approved by both House and Senate and signed by Governor the license surcharge will be increased; HB1028 and 1029 were GFP-sponsored bills that passed with little opposition, one to lift provision specific to dove hunting restricting youth under age 18 to hunt with adult and make that under age 16 like other hunting seasons, and to lift restriction that mountain lion hunters must wear hunter orange clothing; hunters may use a leased do to retrieve wounded wildlife; party hunting/fishing bill was passed and authorizes people to fish in groups from a boat and for people who are hunting small game; SB205 allows wolves to be classed as predator varmints when federally delisted; bill concerning limiting public access to non-meandered waters did not pass but will be a subject of considerable study of the next several months to craft legislation for 2014
  • Director Hofer updated on Division of Parks legislation: one of the most productive sessions and very positive outcome; HB1221 to create a veteran cemetery state park was defeated; HB1174 on snowmobile operation to allow 48" restriction and preclude larger converted vehicles; golf cart bill amended with a couple of provisions to make it safer; Angostura bonding authority for sewer system amended to include bonding for stabilization project at Cedar Shores; create Good Earth State Park, first new park in over 40 years; appropriations for 3 outdoor heritage projects including the new park, a visitor center at CSP, and the Mickelson Trail connection; budget now being considered as legislature wraps up

Big Game Management Review and Resolution Audio

  • Governor's Office Nathan Sanderson, representing the Governor's Office, reported that four Requests for Proposals had been received and Governor selected Wildlife Management Institute to contact the review Commission approved a resolution authorizing a budget adjustment for the Division of Wildlife; an increase of $131,050 was authorized to fund this review through Wildlife Management Institute With support through funding a contract with WMI will now be worked out Sanderson assured Commission that this review is not just going through the motions and will identify both strengths and weakness and develop recommendations for improvements and moving forward The review will develop a written report and a public presentation by WMI Review scheduled to take approximately 6 months and should be underway around end of March

Open Forum Audio

  • Bill Taunten from Woonsocket addressed the Commission with concerns about the number of pheasants; has a lot of fun hunting over the past few years, invites 90-110 hunters to come and hunt, feels there are too few birds and opposes any increase in the daily harvest limit for pheasants, should not advertise hunting in South Dakota unless we have the product here to hunt, need to kill more predators and need someone flying and shooting them, need state trappers doing the job to reduce predators, plants 42 acres of food plots, would like GFP to stock hens and roosters in the spring, he will release 150 hens and 50 roosters this week
  • Norb Barrie, Turton, acting president of South Dakota Opportunity and active in economic development in Spink County; how can we properly use the assests that GFP manages, work should inure for every citizen in South Dakota; those who gain employment through use of wildlife and fish resources should be considered; not interested in mass commercialization; many land and home holdings in county from out of state people
  • Jim Schaefer commented on length of pheasant season; there is a biological carrying capacity and a social carrying capacity; doesn't impact resource to shoot more pheasants and would like to expand the number of days open to the pheasant season

Public Hearing at 2 PM Audio

Finalizations
Special Buck Licenses Audio

  • No changes were recommended from proposal
  • Proposed changes from 2012 include: An individual can only possess either an East River or West River Special Buck license in any given year; West River Special Buck allocations for both residents and nonresidents will be 4% of the previous year's allocation of the resident licenses which included an "any deer" tag for the West River deer season; and East River Special Buck allocations for residents will be 4% of the previous year's allocation of the resident licenses which included an "any deer" tag for the East River deer season
  • West River allocation would be 461 for both residents and nonresidents; East River allocation 687 residents only
  • Commission amendment to raise West River Deer from 4% to 5% for both residents and nonresidents; Commission had considerable discussion about social aspects of setting number of licenses in light of pressure from some to constantly increase that number and from others to decrease the number; motion failed on a 4-3 vote (must have five votes to carry)
  • Countered with another amendment to set level at 4% or minimum 500 licenses, whichever is greater; this motion passed on a 7-0 vote
  • Commission then voted to approve the season proposal as amended, this also passed 7-0

Public Water Swim/Safety Zones

  • No changes recommended from proposal
  • Proposed changes from 2012 include: Repeal the current safety zone designated on Helgeson Slough in Clark County; Repeal the current safety zones designated on portions of Rock Crandall Game Production Area on Opitz Lake and East Stink Lake in Marshall County; add a new safety zone as "The waters of Lake Francis Case fronting on that portion of the shoreline of Platte Creek Recreation Area, from a point on the west facing culvert near the road across from the Cabin #2 pull off, extending 140 feet in a north-northwesterly direction to the water's edge, then extending 250 feet along the shoreline in a south-southwesterly direction are a Public Swimming Zone"; repeal current safety zones on Clear Lake in Marshall County at the waters fronting on the north shore starting approximately 50 feet south of the cement boat ramp at the Clear Lake Resort and running in a southeasterly direction for approximately 200 feet are a "public swimming zone" and the waters fronting on the east shore starting approximately 150 feet north of the south edge of Clear lake Recreation Area and running northerly approximately 600 feet are a "public swimming zone"
  • Commission approved rule changes as proposed

Waterfowl Refuges

  • No changes recommended from proposal
  • Proposed changes from 2012 would remove the North Shore State Waterfowl Refuge which has been determined that it no longer meets objectives as a waterfowl refuge
  • Commission approved this rule change as proposed

Hunting Seasons Proposals
CSP Non-trophy Bison Hunting Season Audio

  • Recommended changes from 2012 include: Modify preference so applicants accrue an additional point for each successive year they are unsuccessful in the draw; Allocate 7 non-trophy bull bison licenses and 5 cow bison licenses to residents in a first draw. Leftover licenses after the first draw would be available in a second draw for all applicants; Increase license fee from $1,500 to $2,250 for a non-trophy bison bull and from $1,000 to $1,750 for a cow bison; Add reference to non-trophy bison harvest as seasons in CSP available to non-residents
  • Non-trophy bison hunts fees have not been adjusted from the season's inception 9 years ago. Fees were originally higher than the live sale average for those class animals. The bison market has improved and current live sales significantly exceed costs for non-trophy hunts. Indications are for a relatively stable market on bison. Currently, these hunts are undervalued at $1,000 for cows and $1,500 for 2-year old bulls. Additionally, interest has multiplied for these hunts. Applications have more than tripled in the past 3 years. The current single preference system should be modified to a lottery (accumulated points) system; this will be done through regular lottery drawing process handled by Licensing Office
  • Season dates Oct. 5-Nov. 22
  • 15 non-trophy bull licenses and 10 cow licenses available
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

CSP Trophy Bison Hunting Season

  • Recommended changes from 2012 include: Modify preference so applicants accrue an additional point for each successive year they are unsuccessful in the draw. Change reference from "permit" and "permit holder" to "license" and "licensee" and allocate two trophy bison licenses to residents in a first draw. Leftover licenses would be available in a second draw for all applicants
  • Interest in trophy bison hunts continues to grow. This is a premier trophy bison hunt and draws applicants from across North America. Applicant's odds of drawing continue to decline with increased interest. A large number of applicants have been unsuccessful in drawing in multiple years. The current preference system provides applicants who were unsuccessful in the previous year's draw entry in the first draw, but they do not accrue additional points for successive unsuccessful years. The current single preference system should be modified to a lottery (accumulated points) system. Allocating two of the permits to South Dakota residents will give residents a better chance of being drawn for this trophy hunt while still recognizing the high demand from non-resident hunters
  • Season dates Nov. 25-Jan. 10
  • 8 trophy bull licenses available
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

CSP Elk Hunting Seasons

  • "Any" Elk Licenses: No recommended changes; Season Dates Sept. 15-30; 4 licenses available
  • "Antlerless" Elk Licenses: No recommended changes and season would remain closed
  • "Early" Archery Elk Licenses: No recommended changes; Season Dates Sept. 1-30; 3 "Any" Elk licenses available
  • "Late" Archery Elk Licenses: No recommended changes and season would remain closed
  • Commission moved to keep rule proposals open and will be considered at finalization

Archery Elk Hunting Season

  • Recommended changes from 2012: Adjust the number of licenses available from 82 "any elk" and 15 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 97 licenses) to 77 "any elk" and 15 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 92 licenses)
  • Season Dates Sept. 1-30
  • 77 "Any" elk licenses and 15 "Antlerless" elk licenses available
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

Black Hills Elk Hunting Season

  • Recommended changes from 2012: Adjust the number of licenses available from 395 "any elk" and 175 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 570 licenses) to 380 "any elk" and 165 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 545 licenses)
  • 380 "Any" elk licenses available for season dates Oct. 1-31
  • 165 "Antlerless" elk licenses available for Oct. 16-31 and Dec. 1-15
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

Prairie Elk Hunting Season

  • Recommended changes from 2012: Adjust the number of licenses available from 47 "any elk" and 53 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 100 licenses) to 45 "any elk" and 51 "antlerless elk" licenses (total of 96 licenses); Modify Unit 30 (Gregory County) by removing that portion of Boyd County, Nebraska; Adjust the season dates for Unit 30 (Gregory County) from September 29 - October 28 and December 1-31 to September 1 - December 31; Adjust the season dates for Unit 11B (Bennett County and portions of Mellette County) from September 1 to the second Sunday of October to September 1 to the Friday before the third Saturday in October; and Add Unit 11D (Bennett County and portions of Mellette County) with season dates of September 1 - December 31
  • Commission proposed season as recommended

Mountain Goat Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed from 2012 so season remains closed

Grouse Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Dates Sept. 21-Jan. 5
  • Limit 3 daily and 15 possession

Pheasant Hunting Seasons

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Youth Pheasant Oct. 5-9 with limits 3 daily and 15 possession
  • Resident-Only Pheasant Oct. 12-14 on public land with limits 3 daily and 9 possession
  • Pheasant season Oct. 19-Jan. 5 with limits 3 daily and 15 possession

Partridge Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Dates Sept. 21-Jan. 5
  • Limits 5 daily and 15 possession

Quail Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Dates Oct. 19-Jan. 4
  • Limits 5 daily and 15 possession

Cottontail Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Dates Sept. 1-Feb. 28
  • Limits 10 daily and 30 possession
  • Landowners may take cottontail on their own property year-round without restriction

Squirrel Hunting Season

  • No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012
  • Dates Sept. 1-Feb. 28
  • Limits 5 daily and 15 possession

Crow and Crane Hunting Season

  • Crow: No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012; Dates Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Mar. 1-Apr. 30; No daily or possession limit
  • Sandhill Crane: No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012; Sept. 28-Nov. 24; Limits 3 daily and 6 possession; Nontoxic shot rules apply to Sandhill Crane hunting

Snipe and Dove Hunting Season

  • Snipe: No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012; Dates Sept. 1-Oct. 31; Limits 5 daily and 15 possession; Nontoxic shot rules apply to snipe hunting
  • Mourning Dove: No changes were proposed so season structure remains the same as 2012; Dates Sept. 1-Nov. 9; Limits 15 daily and 30 possession; State Law changed by legislature to allow those 16 and over to hunt without accompaniment similar to other hunting seasons (previous law had required those under age 18 to be accompanied by parent, guardian or responsible adult), no Commission rule change was required for this change

2013 Hunting Season Dates

  • No recommended changes in season date structure from 2012 so season start dates will remain as currently set in rule
Division of Wildlife

Information Items

Habitat Partner of the Year Award Audio

  • Director Leif introduced winners as part of recognition the Department gives to habitat partners; 4 regional winners lead to statewide winner
  • Jim Schaefer, Jr. a McCook County landowner was named to the statewide award; Jim manages his land with a healthy variety of plantings and cooped with SDSU as a student learning project

Pheasant habitat and Farm Bill discussion Audio

  • Mark Norton updated Commission on Farm Bill and how it relates to South Dakota; has been extended; even though everything reauthorized must have funding to enroll acres; still 25,000 acres available in CREP yet to be enrolled
  • Wetland Reserve Program and Grassland Reserve Program have no funding to enroll acres but S.D. did receive $7 million for existing leases
  • Federal budget issues the past year or two have lead to sequestration and short-term budget extension that have made funds difficult to come by; USDA has not been able to secure budgeting for these programs
  • Recently announced that there will be a signup for CRP which will provide a great opportunity, also revising CRP rental rates to make them more competitive
  • National program for 32 million acres of CRP and 3.2 million are set to expire; new Farm Bill drafts have dropped the national cap to 25 million acres; each state will get a smaller piece of that pie
  • Just under 1 million acres of CRP in South Dakota including 75,000 acres of CREP program; around 105,000 acres are set to expire (down from 1.6 million acres in 2007); may be able to stay close to 1 million acres over the next couple of years
  • Recent studies in land-use changes in SD documents change of grasslands into cropland; between 2006-11 net change of 1.3 million acres nationally and 451,000 acres in SD; converted acres more susceptible to drought; found in both Dakotas 70% within 250 meter buffer of a wetland so losing wetland habitat as well; not since 1920s and 1930s has grassland conversion taken place at this rate
  • Widespread of patterned tile has brought a loss of wetlands; increased erosive characteristics of some rivers and streams with increased flow, widened rivers 10-40% causing stream bank erosion, also decreased water qualities in these waterways
  • Seeing destruction of shelterbelts and old farmsteads that also have provided good habitat
  • There have been a number of proposals on how to address these problems, including tying conservation measures to requirements for crop insurance policies; Sod saver has been pushed by SD legislatures which would remove eligibility for subsidized crop insurance for conversion of native sod

Spring Canada goose take permits Audio

  • GFP spent $717,000 responding to over 1,000 requests for assistance with Canada goose damage to agricultural crops in 2012. This spring we are implementing a new, proactive management approach intended to reduce crop damage and goose populations at a local level by permitting 140 volunteer hunters harvest up to 7,000 resident Canada geese in Brookings, Day, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, and Minnehaha counties
  • Canada goose population that nest in SD approaching 300,000; as number of geese has risen depredation complaints have grown in same proportion; goal to manage population around 80-90,000
  • Much of damage happens as soybean crops are growing and geese molt feather and are flightless; do a great deal of damage in a short amount of time; 3-4 acres of crop damage can equal up to $200,000 in damage so a significant financial impact
  • Work by Animal Damage Control spent over $717,000 working on goose complaints; since 2000 spent more than $4 million; have added more hunting opportunity to try to reduce numbers and help offset some of these costs
  • Now have added a spring Canada goose depredation permit to take 7000 with volunteer hunters; 140 volunteers will be able to harvest 50 geese each; may take all in one day or over a month; geese must be donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger and have 8 processors lined up around eastern SD
  • Program will run April 1-30 focused in efforts of chronic depredation; open on private land only; GFP will secure permission to hunt in advance
  • Signup has been very successful and have nearly 1,500 on list so far for the 140 permits
  • Have signed up around 73,000 acres of private land so far in Region 4; in Region 3 will authorize 50 volunteers each with 3 designees and will look at 50 worst complaint areas and those lands will be open to specific hunters who will be paired with individual landowners
  • Objectives to harvest 7,000, this has never been done before so unknown if this is realistic; also want to reduce damage in specific locations, will measure damage on the ground and previous years expenditures as compared to what happens this summer; one result may be to haze birds away from the area; also want to lower the population on a very localized area
  • Will total harvested geese as one way to measure success; after this is done, will look at harvest and damage done in the spring to identify if this program was effective and should continue

Elk population status Audio

  • Preliminary information and updates and more in-depth information will come in April
  • Typically surveys go on through fall, this year for perhaps the first-time ever a Black Hills-wide sightability study is taking place
  • Hunter surveys used as part of population tool; age structure determined from teeth collected from elk hunters; also receive input from hunters, landowners and staff
  • For past 4 years have been running around 50 calves per 100 cows; a good number for calf recruitment
  • Hunter success rate has remained at or above 50% and hunter satisfaction rate has been good; 2012 success across the hills was 73%
  • Elk aerial survey is covering the entire Black Hills, first time have ever flown entire Hills in one year; break Black Hills into subunits; should complete surveys this week; get a count with these flights, but also have a formula that is applied to elk seen that will account for elk that are not seen on the flight
  • Project to push elk out of Wind Cave Park and into Custer State Park and adjacent US Forest Service Land; total of 198 have been pushed into CSP; issues have include location of elk quite a ways south of area, and elk know where fence is and they will break off and double back as approach the fence, and in particular mature bulls were very difficult; do plan to try and push more elk over the next several days

Conservation officer staffing structure changes Audio

  • Have been looking at recruitment efforts for officers and how to both recruit and retain officers
  • Have several changes planned to address this situation
  • Have lost officers to surrounding states, some who are returning to their home state and some for a higher salary especially in some states to the east
  • Currently only opportunity to move up is to Conservation Officer Supervisor position
  • Tough to recruit officers to more rural areas where spouse employment and housing can be a challenge
  • From advertisement to placement takes 9 months through hiring process and extensive training
  • 75 certified law enforcement officers; 51 are field level positions
  • Currently 9 vacancies including TIPs and Training Officer position; three trainees are set to complete their training and three more at training academy; hired another trainee and has just begun training process
  • Hope to have 90% of positions filled by July 1
  • Worked with Human Resources to interview staff and put together concepts that have been developed into recommendations: Create incentives for officers to remain in duty stations for extended periods of time; beginning Jan. 1 will begin providing salary incentive for officers that remain 2 years and another bump at 4 years, this will be in addition to normal salary adjustments; adjustments to regional organization structure and create more promotion opportunities with no net in increased Full Time Employees; create a new position that will be responsible for administrative duties in each region and will be one grade above CO Supervisor; add an additional CO Supervision in each region that will be working in the field; team of officers will be responsible for work in a larger district and work overseen by field supervisor, will give more flexibility to address issues as they arise rather than one officer work strictly within one county
  • Improve officer to supervisor ratio with 4-5 officers per supervisor
  • Will continue to review conservation officer position description to make sure it is accurate to all duties and responsibilities

Ice fishing update Audio

  • Fishing license sales up around 15% and some of that attributed to good ice fishing and good access
  • Around 125 access areas that are maintained by GFP; Thur & Fri of every week a person checks these areas and if they are in need they are cleaned out
  • Bitter Lake had a very good winter, around 68,000 perch caught and 47,000 harvested; a good crop of young walleye came into creel so good catch but not many could be kept
  • Blizzard of weekend of Feb 8-9 shut down many access areas
  • In southeast a milder winter left most access areas open; good ice fishing results on a number of lakes
  • Lake Oahe daily limit was raised to 8 and good ice angler use especially on upper reaches where ice was better; as season went along caught many 10-12 inch fish; northern pike and catfish fishing have also been good
  • Lake Sharpe has been fair, Stilling Basin by dam had some periods of good fishing
  • Black Hills was slow despite setting a new Lake Trout record
  • West River some good bites on prairie ponds even though those ponds are getting low due to drought
  • So far no concerns about winterkill on iced lakes
  • Increase in license sales for Spearing Permits probably with statewide expansion of darkhouse spearing

Black Hills Fisheries Management Plan

  • A lot of management practices in place now were developed in mid-1990s; there are water-specific plans on a number of lakes and streams; some of key findings from an angler survey in 1994-95 was public believed activities should be focused on increasing number of large trout, improved shoreline access, and more information on how and where to fish in Black Hills; willing to accept special regulations if it improved size of catch; looked at higher quality streams with natural reproduction and streams that relied entirely on stocking
  • Black Hills plan one of several regional plans that will cover the state; part of Black Hills plan will be specific to streams and part specific to lakes; will help waters reach their fish potential and address anglers’ needs
  • In 2013 will do a plan for Rapid Creek, begin on for Spearfish Creek
  • Will gather public input at a series of open house
  • Hope to have draft of Black Hills plan by June

Mountain lion season update Audio

  • Number licenses sold so far 4,308 compared to around 3,500 last year
  • For Black Hills hunt, harvest at 49 total, 29 females with 100 total harvest limit with 75 females
  • Had special "hunters with hounds" permit for CSP; two lions have been harvested inside CSP with hounds and one without hounds; four others harvested within short radius of park
  • Three collared lions in CSP and 2 of those 3 have been harvested including the major elk calf killer
  • No conclusions so far on what harvest totals mean; fresh snow may impact harvest between now and end of Black Hills season
  • Statewide season outside of Black Hills will continue through Dec. 31

Open house schedule update

  • Have been adding to schedule and current list of meetings is posted to GFP website
Division of Parks and Recreation

Action Items
Shep's Canyon Lodge Fee Proposal Audio

  • Recommended change from 2012 would add Shep's Canyon to the list of areas that require a group lodging fee and establish the fee
  • $240.00 a night for the first 12 persons age 12 and over plus $17.00 for each additional person age 12 and older
  • Group lodges are extremely popular state park facilities and receive heavy use year round. A ranch residence was included in the department's acquisition of the Hill Ranch property on the west side of Angostura Reservoir. The house, which is in close proximity to the reservoir, and the Shep's Canyon campground, boat ramp and planned horse trail system, is being converted to a group lodge. We expect the Shep's Canyon Lodge to be equally popular due to its proximity to other recreational offerings and its picturesque setting. The $240 nightly fee is consistent with the fee for other state park lodges of similar size.
  • Commission approved for proposal as recommended

Lyman County/Cedar Shore Leases

  • Commission approved a resolution authorizing the Division of Parks allow Lyman County to relinquish lease obligations for the land and marina at Cedar Shores and transfer those obligations to GFP; and
  • Upon sale of Cedar Shores Resort to amend the lease agreement to facilitate the assumption of responsibilities by GFP
  • There is no longer necessity for county to be involved in this lease process as their was when Corps of Engineers originally had, and county is in favor of not being involved in lease; county relinquishes area that resort sits on but not other holdings in area

Cedar Shore Resort Lease Transfer Audio

  • Located immediately north of Oacoma along shores of Lake Sharpe; an economic development project of Gov. Mickelson; legislature authorized and Dept. Transportation developed the area; Corps of Engineers owned the property at the time and leased property to Lyman County who subleased to company that became Cedar Shores, Inc
  • In 2001 after Title VI was completed land was transferred to GFP and inherited lease with Lyman Co.; in 2004 City of Oacoma asked to build a convention center there
  • Soil instability has been in issue in recent years, in particular with high water, and threaten shoreline, bike trail and road that leads to the area; working on solution to stabilize; bonding authority through legislature to do stabilization work along with a $1 million grant through US Coast Guard; will have engineers coming up with preliminary plan by April 1
  • US Hotel looking to make the resort area more of a destination area for visitors, including anglers and hunters
  • Commission approved a resolution authorizing lease transfer for Cedar Shores as part of sale of the resort to US Hotel ACS Ventures LLP;
  • To incorporate bond payment that will be issued to fund bank stabilization project at the resort with bond payment to be made through revenue provided by GFP through resort lease
  • When sale of resort is complete GFP will be able to execute a Restated Lease with US Hotel for the operation of Cedar Shore Resort to contain a modified franchise fee structure and carry forward all existing services until the lease expires in August 2040 (the expiration date of the current lease)
  • U.S. Hotels entered into an option agreement to purchase Cedar Shores Resort. The option agreement must be exercised by April 15th and is contingent upon approval of bonding legislation, negotiation of a new lease, and assurance from an expert engineering firm that a solution to the ground movement is within the cost and scope of the franchise fee and bond payment structure that has been negotiated with Game, Fish, and Parks. The Department has consulted with HDR Engineering about their interest and general feelings about the project based upon the assessments that have been completed so far. At this point, they are not 100% confident the solution provided in a report completed by Ground Improvement Engineering in April of 2011 is the best solution. Therefore, the Department is preparing a consulting contract with HDR to further study the situation with a team of geotechnical engineers and experts in the field with the objective of providing an acceptable solution and preliminary design. The goal would be to have a design completed by April 1st in order to facilitate execution of the option agreement.

Lewis & Clark Marina Concession

  • The owner of Lewis and Clark Marina, near Yankton, issued his intent to sell the marina on February 1, 2013. In accordance with the administrative rules governing concession leases, the Department began developing a prospectus for the marina sale and lease transfer. The marina owner, Russ Marsh, provided his sale price for his assets to the Department on February 8, 2013. GFP shared the sale price ($2.8 million) with the GFP Commission and secured approval to issue the prospectus. Following the Commission's action, Mr. Marsh altered his sale price (approximately $4.8 million) to include nearly $2 million in blue sky (termed intangibles and good will) which almost doubled the amount. This has led to a disagreement between GFP and Mr. Marsh on the sale price of the marina which we believe cannot include goodwill per the concession lease rules. We expect this will trigger provisions in the concession lease rules that stipulate the sale price to be established through an appraisal.
  • Request that Commission rescind resolution from Feb 8 and instead authorize GFP to proceed with an appraisal within guidelines of lease and rules
  • Commission rescinded the original and approved the new resolution

Information Items

CSP Mountain Pine Beetle Project Audio

  • Last year had 100,000 estimated infested trees
  • Marking infested trees was completed Feb. 28
  • 35,208 infested trees identified on 27,408 acres
  • 20,887 trees were cut and chunked, and 13,061 will be cut and removed
  • Almost half of trees treated were in a 3,000 acre area around Sylvan Lake
  • Also doing thinning work on north and west boundaries to form a buffer
  • This spring will complete preventative spraying on approximately 600-800 trees around lodges, campgrounds, private campgrounds, and visitor use areas
  • Will have an AmeriCorp crew on site from April 1-24 to assist in cleanup work around visitor use areas

Campground Reservation System Audio

  • New reservation system started Jan. 2 and have opened reservations through Memorial Day weekend
  • Company has been good to work with, still things that need to be accomplished
  • By end of next week will have credit card operation in place in parks
  • Call Center through Lawrence & Schiller has been doing very well, average wait time only 2-2.5 minutes • Not many complaints from customers who have been able to find resolution through Call Center
  • To date have taken in $1.1 million since Jan. 2

ADJOURN

Next Meeting
April 4-5, 2013
Holiday Inn Express in Winner SD