Although the initial plan to include 176to Custer State Park (South Dakota) has been reduced to 66 , Democrats in the House and Senate still do not support the idea.
“From a conservation standpoint, it’s a terrible idea,” said Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert (D-Mission). He explained that it could make privatenear the park less profitable.
The leaders of both parties, as well as Governor Kristi Noem, addressed the media during their regular press conferences on Thursday.
House Minority Leader Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls) said it wasn’t right for the governor’s office and the Game, Fish & Parks Department to suggest the project without conducting an environmental study.
“They got ahead of themselves and were surprised at the uproar,” Smith said.
Smith said that the office of the governor and GF&P did not put enough effort into consulting with privateowners.
“If they thought there was a need for more, they would build them,” Smith said, referring to private owners.
During her weekly press conference, Governor Kristi Noem resisted the idea that her office did not reach out to enough businesses or individuals about the Custer State Park.
“I would say our outreach has been excellent,” Noem said.
House Majority Leader Kent Peterson (R-Salem) shared that the state park has lost 70over the years; therefore, the scaled-back bill would work towards replacing them.
As per Senate Assistant Majority Leader Michael Diedrich, 66in the updated plan are adjacent to an existing .
“It doesn’t have the effect on wildlife,” Diedrich said.
Heinert claimed that the new plan could alter the migration patterns for animals that live in the park.