2018 Forest Day Use Passes on sale on Friday

On Friday Forest Recreation Management (FRM) Day Use Passes for the 2018 season will be available for half price at several Black Hills National Forest offices including, the Bearlodge Ranger District office in Sundance, Wyo.,, the Northern Hills Ranger District office in Spearfish, the Mystic Ranger District office in Rapid City and the Forest Supervisors/Hell Canyon Ranger District office in Custer.

These passes are for USDA Forest Service facilities located within the Black Hills National Forest fee areas and should not be confused with South Dakota State Park Passes.

The premium passes (which includes the Sheridan and Pactola complexes) will be $17 (regularly $34), and the standard passes (which are for all FRM operated day use areas except the Sheridan and Pactola complexes) will be $10 (regularly $20). Please pay with cash or check.

Requests made by mail with postmarks between Dec. 1-3 to FRM, PO Box 1168, Hill City, SD 57745 will also be honored. Please include a check for the appropriate amount.

The number of passes available for purchase per individual is unlimited, making them great gifts for stocking stuffers, gift exchanges and prizes for drawings. No other discounts will be accepted with this offer and those with senior or access discounts can receive this reduced price any time.

Under a special use permit, FRM operates Black Hills National Forest campgrounds and other recreation facilities. FRM has been operating these facilities since 1999.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

Status reviews of threatened and Endangered Species Available for comment

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is conducting a review of state endangered and threatened species and asking the public to provide comment on the draft status reviews for 22 species. Comments are accepted through Dec. 8.

The review process provides a concise summary of the current status for each state-listed threatened or endangered species.

Where sufficient information existed for the recovery of species, draft criteria for downlisting (changing status from endangered to threatened) and/or delisting (removing a threatened or endangered species from the state list) are described. If such information was not available, the review describes additional monitoring or research needs.

For species also listed as federal threatened or federal endangered under the Endangered Species Act, separate state recovery goals were not drafted. GFP will continue cooperating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to meet identified recovery goals.

The status reviews are available online: gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/threatened-endangered/default.aspx. To provide written feedback on these reviews, please email StatusReviews@state.sd.us or mail comments to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

Total Archery Challenge by MTN OPS

Terry Peak Ski Area will be hosting the Total Archery Challenge fueled by MTN, Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25.

On tap will be a challenging outdoor 3-D archery event. This shooting event offers a variety of courses for various skill levels from kids to advanced adults. Experience staged courses on challenging terrain across Terry Peak.

 Come up to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills. Surprise Chairlift will be operating and rides will be offered at $5 per person. The Stewart Lodge Cafeteria and Bar will be open for breakfast and lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday evening charity event

The South Dakota Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers will be holding its Charity Banquet at Terry Peak’s Stewart Lodge, Saturday, June 24, 5-p.m. to 7 pm. 

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GFP reminds hunters to register for winter depredation hunts

As winter approaches, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) reminds resident hunters of unique opportunities that could exist later this winter.

GFP’s Wildlife Damage Management Program assists landowners with wildlife depredation abatement programs and services. When other methods are ineffective, GFP may utilize hunters to help reduce damage caused by wildlife.

“Winter depredation hunts are a valuable management tool that GFP uses in some situations to alleviate wildlife damage to landowners’ stored-feed supplies,” said wildlife damage program administrator, Keith Fisk. “Depredation hunts are largely dependent upon the severity of the winter, snowfall accumulations and the number of animals involved.”

South Dakota residents may register for potential depredation hunts for deer, elk, antelope and turkey starting Dec. 1, 2017. Hunters can register free-of-charge; however, if a hunter is selected for an elk depredation permit, there is a $20 fee. All other depredation permits are issued for free. Register at gfp.sd.gov/hunting/depredation-hunts.aspx

With the exception of hunters registering for elk, all other hunters are encouraged to register for counties near their home or within close driving distance. “Hunters may register for a maximum of 10 counties for any species other than elk,” said Fisk. “Depredation hunts are often time-sensitive and winter weather can sometimes make travel difficult for participating hunters. For a successful hunt, GFP needs participating hunters to be available at the hunt location almost immediately.”

Once registered, hunters are then put into a random drawing to determine eligibility once a depredation hunt is authorized. During the winter of 2016-17, GFP issued 37 different deer depredation hunts across the state.

Winter depredation hunts focus on assisting landowners with wildlife damage, but can also provide hunters with another opportunity after traditional hunting seasons are closed.

For more information, visit the GFP website or call 605.223.7660.

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