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South Dakota Monarch Plan available for public comment

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking for public comment on a draft strategic plan for the monarch butterfly. The plan is available for review until 4 p.m. MDT on Oct. 26.

South Dakota and other Midwestern states have been working together to determine how to provide for the long-term needs of the monarch butterfly.

The state planning process began a year ago. Since then, a committee has helped GFP prepare a strategic plan to guide future activities.

“GFP is coordinating the planning effort, but many public and private partners have been working on pollinators for many years,” said Eileen Dowd-Stukel, wildlife diversity coordinator for GFP. “This cooperative theme is critical for future success.”

Following the finalization of the strategic plan, work will begin to identify specific tasks, schedules and commitments to carry the strategic plan to implementation.

The monarch is being considered for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will announce a listing decision for the eastern population of the monarch butterfly in June 2019. South Dakota’s commitment to this species will be one consideration in the decision.

The public can submit comments on the plan online at gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions.

GFP to Host Halloween events

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will host trick-or-treaters at special events this Halloween season.

There is no cost to participate in the hikes, but a park entrance license is required where applicable. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by adults. Costumes are encouraged for the hikes but not required.

Halloween Hike

Oct. 26, 5-8 p.m.

The Outdoor Campus-West - Rapid City

Wear your costumes and come for fun, games, crafts, and an evening hike. This event is for the whole family with hikes appropriate for younger children, older children, and adults.

Info: 605-394-2310 or TOCWest@state.sd.us.

Halloween Night Hike

Oct.26-27, 5:30 - 8 p.m. 

Custer State Park - Custer

This event allows participants to hike a paved path along a "creepy" route, consisting of costumed characters. The characters humor their audiences with short skits about the natural history of various critters living in Custer State Park and the Black Hills.

Hikes take place every 15 minutes from 5:30-8 p.m. MT on Oct 26 and 27.

Reservations required: 605-255-4515

 Trick-or-Treat Trails

Oct.28, 4 p.m. CDT

LaFramboise Island Nature Area - Pierre

Hike through the wooded trail to sponsor stations, where you'll find candy and other promotional items for the kids. Kids will be greeted by a variety of mascots along the way. Stop by the picnic shelter at the end for some s'mores and hot cocoa or cider.

We encourage kids and adults to dress up in their best Halloween costumes. Pets on a leash are welcome.

This event features 12 or more sponsors, from local businesses to state and federal agencies.

Info: 605-773-2885

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