Many campgrounds remain open on the Black Hills National Forest

 While the main camping season on the Black Hills National Forest, which typically runs Memorial Day through Labor Day, has come to a close, many campgrounds remain open for public use after the regular season.

Campgrounds that remain open in the off-season are first come, first serve. Online reservations are not available. There is a 14-day stay limit in any 60-day consecutive period that applies.

At most campgrounds, water systems have been shut down to prevent freeze damage, and garbage collection is discontinued.

On the Bearlodge Ranger District, the Sundance Horse camp has 10 sites open. Camping is available at the Reuter, Bearlodge and Sundance Horse camp for $10 per night.

On the Northern Hills Ranger District, winter camping is available at the C-loop at Roubaix Lake Campground, three sites remain open outside the gate at Boxelder Forks Campground and Rod and Gun and Timon Campgrounds will remain open until Dec. 1 or until conditions prevent access to sites. There are no fees and no services provided at these sites during the winter.

Campgrounds that remain open on the Mystic Ranger District include Black Fox, Castle Peak, Ditch Creek (14 sites), Dutchman (sites one-10), Pactola (A Loop) but closes Nov. 1, Sheridan Lake Southside (Woodsey Loop), Custer Trail and Whitetail Campgrounds. Sheridan Lake Southside Campground, Black Fox Campground and Castle Peak Campground charge $10 per site per night in the winter months and are fee sites year round. There is no fee at Custer Trail Campground during the winter.

Available campsites on the Hell Canyon Ranger District with no fees and no service can be found at Bismarck Lake Campground with five campsites open for use outside of the locked gate and Comanche Park Campground will have five campsites available outside of the locked gate. Eight campsites are available at Beaver Creek Campground until Dec. 1, and four campsites at Redbank Springs will remain available until Oct 16.

Snow pack may inhibit vehicle access to campgrounds during the winter.

The public is asked to please ensure they take their trash with them, leave a clean campsite and follow campground rules.

Winter 2017/2018 Forest Campground Information Chart: https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/blackhills/recreation/camping-cabins

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

GFP seeking comments on current pronghorn management plan

 The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking comments on the 2014 pronghorn management plan prior to drafting an updated and revised management plan.

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All individuals interested in pronghorn management in South Dakota have from now through Nov. 22 to provide suggestions and comments on the plan in its current form. These comments will assist the GFP in determining additional public involvement and identifying topics that need to be considered during the plan revision process. A final revised plan, which incorporates additional public comment, is scheduled to be presented to the GFP Commission in mid-2019 for adoption and implementation.

The current pronghorn management plan can be found online at: gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/management/plans/docs/Pronghorn_Plan_%20Sept_2014_Final.pdf. Written comments on the plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to PronghornPlan@state.sd.us. Comments must be received by Nov. 22, 2017, and include your full name and city of residence. To request a printed copy of the plan, please call 605.773.3387.

State park entrance Licenses available for 2018

The 2018 annual park entrance license for South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas are now available for purchase.

The 2018 park entrance license is valid from Oct. 1, 2017, through May 19, 2019. An annual park entrance license is $30. Purchasers of one license can also buy a second at half price. The license is required for entrance into designated state parks, recreation areas and lakeside use areas, although it does not cover camping costs or additional fees.

South Dakota state parks offer a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, kayaking, disc golf, fishing, archery and bird watching.

Entrance licenses can be purchased online at campsd.com, at local state park offices or by calling the SD Division of Parks and Recreation at 605.773.3391.

The 2018 annual entrance license features Good Earth State Park at Blood Run. Good Earth was designated a state park in 2013, and last spring opened a new visitor center. The park is located southeast of Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.