The South Dakota Game, Fish and, Parks Department intends to request the Legislature to approve $18 million to fund major projects, including a new campground and repairing two dams damaged by flooding.
Secretary Kevin Robling presented the plans Tuesday to the state’s Game, Fish, and Parks Commission. They have the support of Governor Kristi Noem, according to a report.
The biggest chunk of the proposals, amounting to $9.8 million, will go towards building a campground with 176 sites at Custer State Park, which is located north of the airport. Robling stated that the expansion would bring 30 percent more campsites in the park, which is the first time in 40 years.
“Demand is very, very high in Custer State Park for camping,” he stated.
Campers can reserve campsites in the park up to 12 months in advance, as the remaining state campgrounds operate on reservations of 90 days.
Robling added that state lawmakers would be asked for $2.5 million to fund the department’s shooting range, scheduled to be built in Meade County about ten miles north of Rapid City.
The third proposal calls for $5.6 million to repair the dams at Lake Alvin state recreation area in Lincoln County and Newell Lake in Butte County.
The fourth section of department legislation would repeal some laws that pertain to the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. Robling stated that the playhouse board backs the proposed changes.
According to Robling, no decisions have been made about which committees will be asked to bring each of the four bills.
January 11 marks the opening of the 2022 session at noon CT and ends in March.