SPEARFISH | A hefty donation from Black Hills Energy is moving the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives toward its goal of paying off the remainder of a $642,500 purchase of more than 64 acres of land adjacent to the hatchery.

On July 31, The Booth Society, Inc., the hatchery’s nonprofit supporting board, announced a fundraising campaign to help finance the purchase of undeveloped land adjacent to the historic hatchery in west Spearfish.

So far the Booth Society has raised $350,000 towards the $642,500 purchase price.

On Tuesday, officials from Black Hills Energy chipped in with $25,000, announced in an afternoon ceremony at the hatchery.

“This is a valued customer for us. It really fits for our mission and values. The hatchery is such a great feature to have in a community,” said Marc Eyre, Black Hills Energy director of electric operations.

The Booth Society closed on the land purchase on July 31. The acquisition will add more than 64 acres to the hatchery’s current 11-acre footprint.

Plans are for the property to remain largely undeveloped to preserve the watershed and vital water source for the hatchery and its trout fingerlings.

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“The land will be public use. It will be conserved for generations and generations to enjoy,” said Karen Holzer, Booth Society executive director.

A major concern, she said, would have been houses being built on the property with potential damage to the watershed through installation of septic tanks and other utility work.

“We have the land. Now we can breathe again,” Holzer said

Holzer said the society was able to raise the down payment through money set aside for the purchase, along with a $100,000 anonymous donation, the Black Hills Energy donation and other funds.

They will continue to seek grants and other sources, with all money dropped into the donation bins at the hatchery this month to be applied to the land acquisition effort.

According to an earlier news release, donations can be made through PayPal on the website, dcboothfishhatchery.org/land-acquisition, or mailed to: Booth Society, 423 Hatchery Circle, Spearfish SD, 57783 with “land acquisition” included on the memo line.

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