GFP board to look at rule changes for land use in state parks

PIERRE –  The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed rule changes that impact state park land use, including commercial use, .22 firearms and tree stands.

The commission proposed a fee structure for permitting commercial activities in South Dakota State Parks. Examples of typical for-profit commercial activity are commercial photography and filming, food vendors, kayak lessons, horseback and bicycle tours, rock climbing schools and concerts. Commercial users would need to secure a permit and pay applicable fees. The proposal would also remove agricultural activity from the permitting requirement, as it is already required by statute and therefore redundant.

The commission also proposed repealing a rule that prohibits uncased .22 rimfire firearms in the state parks, opening up the opportunity for hunters to pursue small game during legal hunting seasons.

Another proposed change would extend the time that tree stands are allowed in state parks. The proposed timeframe would be from Aug. 1 to March 31, allowing earlier installation of tree stands to accommodate archery hunters and to allow extra time to remove them due to weather restraints. The current rule allows tree stands from Aug. 25 to Feb. 15.

A proposed rule change regarding the time limit for occupying a campsite would not change the rule, but seeks to eliminate confusion. The phrase used to describe the time limit would change from 15 consecutive days to 14 consecutive nights to be consistent with use elsewhere in rule.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting this proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 

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 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

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