GFP Commission requests input on preference point system

Following a presentation by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), the GFP Commission is requesting public input on a proposal to cube preference points for all limited draw seasons. This would be for all seasons in which preference points can be purchased and accrued.

This proposed adjustment is intended to provide those hunters with a higher number of preference points a greater chance of drawing a limited license than currently exists. The proposed action would take the number of preference points a hunter has and add one for the current year application. That total will then be cubed and would determine the number of times each applicant's name is entered into the drawing.

For example, an applicant who has three preference points going into the 2018 East River deer season drawing would have a total of four upon submitting their application for 2018. Then that would be cubed to total 64; which means that applicant’s name would be entered 64 times for the 2018 East River deer season drawing. Under the current structure this example would result in a total of four chances in the drawing.

A more drastic example would be if an applicant has 20 preference points for the 2018 Black Hills elk season drawing. Adding one more point upon submitting an application for 2018 would bring the total to 21. Then this would be cubed to 9,261; which means that applicant’s name would be entered 9,261 times for this drawing.

This proposal would not change the drawing to a true top down preference point system. A hunter with the most preference points would still not be guaranteed a license before another hunter with less preference points, but the odds of drawing a license would be increased.

To comment on this proposal, send written comments to 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501, or send an email to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006. The GFP Commission will discuss this proposal Jan. 11-12 at the Red Rossa Convention Center in Pierre. For those unable to attend the meeting in person, the discussion will be livestreamed at http://www.sd.net/home/.

State park fee changes go into effect Monday

Changes to state park campground classifications, as well as some entrance and facility fees will go into effect Jan. 1.

State Park director Katie Ceroll said the changes reflect the increased demand for and use of the state’s campgrounds and facilities.

The department reviewed campground occupancy rates, which are used to determine the classification of the campgrounds and the per night fees charged. Camping fees for each of the classifications will not change, but fees at several parks will see a modest increase as they are moved into the correct category.

The following campground classifications include:

Basic campgrounds: Campgrounds without modern facilities. $11 nightly per non-electric site; $15 nightly per electric site. Includes five campgrounds.

Modern campgrounds: Less than 80 percent weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $13 nightly per non-electric site; $17 nightly per electric site. Includes seven campgrounds.

Preferred campgrounds: 80-89 percent weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $15 nightly per non-electric site; $19 nightly per electric site. Includes six campgrounds.

Prime campgrounds: 90 percent or higher weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $17 nightly per non-electric site; $21 nightly per electric site. Includes 31 campgrounds.

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Other fee changes include:

Elimination of the per person daily entrance license. The $6 per vehicle daily entrance license remains unchanged.

Camping cabin fee increase to $45 in all parks except Custer, which will remain $50 per night.

Campsites in French Creek Horse Camp in Custer State Park increase to $31 per night.

Increase in some group lodging fees: Mina Lake and Shadehill to $205 a night; and Lake Thompson, Palisades, Sheps Canyon, and Newton Hills to $280 a night.

Fort Sisseton South Barracks rental will increase to $500.

Lewis and Clark catamaran dry slip summer storage will increase to $325.

The Angostura catamaran dry slip summer storage will increase to $175.

For the most up-to-date information about each state park, visit gfp.sd.gov.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.