GFP News - June 28, 2012
- Campsites Still Available For Fourth of July Holiday
- Prairie Dog Control Programs Available
- Northern Fort Playhouse Takes Center Stage at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park in July
- Upcoming S.D. State Park Programs Provide Family Recreation and Education
- State Parks Offer Summer Nature Camps for Kids
Campsites Still Available For Fourth of July Holiday
PIERRE, S.D. - Campsites are still available at many South Dakota state parks for the Fourth of July.
With the Fourth falling on a Wednesday this year, campers are focusing their attention on the weekend before and the weekend after the Fourth of July. This gives more people the opportunity to stay at the parks for the popular camping holiday.
"We have as many as 800 campsites still available for July 3 and 4," said state Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer.
"There are only a couple of parks that don't have at least a few sites available during the middle of the week," he said.
Since the holiday is on a Wednesday, a three-night stay is not required for midweek outings.
Camping reservations can be made online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267.
Prairie Dog Control Programs Available
PIERRE, S.D. - Officials of the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture are reminding South Dakota ranchers and producers to contact GFP or Agriculture if they have unwanted prairie dogs.
The state's prairie dog control program is cooperatively funded by GFP and Agriculture. GFP manages encroachment issues stemming from adjacent public lands, while the Agriculture manages complaints between private landowners.
"GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached private land from adjacent public land," said GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk. "To be eligible for assistance, landowners must have prairie dog encroachment within one mile of public land and have at least 20 acres of prairie dog colonies."
Additionally, landowners must call in and inform GFP that they have unwanted prairie dogs before August 15. "GFP provides assistance to many landowners across western South Dakota," said Fisk. "This deadline allows GFP sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of the prairie dog control program."
Landowners with prairie dog encroachment from public land should contact GFP at 605-773-5913 to request control. GFP field staff will coordinate the control of the encroachment colony on the private land this fall. All requests for prairie dog control must be received by the August 15 deadline.
Landowners that are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land need to contact the Department of Agriculture.
If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made. There are two methods to file a complaint, the first option is for the effected landowner to sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board.
The second method requires a formal complaint (available by calling 1-800-228-5254 or on the Department of Agriculture website at http://sdda.sd.gov/Ag_Services/Plant-Protection/Weed%20and%20Pest) and sent to the S.D. Department of Agriculture and a copy to the landowner with the invading colony. The mailing address for the Department of Agriculture is 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. Notices of encroachment may be sent in throughout the year.
The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen by visiting http://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/docs/prairiedog-management-plan.pdf or by calling Game, Fish and Parks at 605-773-3387.
Northern Fort Playhouse Takes Center Stage at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park in July
LAKE CITY, S.D. - The Northern Fort Playhouse will present You Never Know and The Fox on the Fairway during its seventh season at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park. The first of the shows will be presented Friday, July 6, at 7:30 p.m. CDT.
Northern State University's Department of Theater and Fort Sisseton Historical State Park have joined with Northern Fort Playhouse Foundation to develop a summer playhouse of fine arts entertainment for park audiences.
"The South Barracks transforms into a classic theater in July," said Katie Ceroll, Fort Sisseton park manager. "Combine this with the serene atmosphere and the natural beauty of the lakes and prairies, and a picturesque evening is created. It's a highlight of our summer season."
The plays will be performed on Friday and Saturday evenings through July 21. To make the event even more special, a dinner theater will be offered Saturday nights, July 7, 14 and 21, with a gourmet menu prepared by three area caterers. There are also two Sunday afternoon matinees at 2 p.m. CDT. The varied performance schedule provides an opportunity to catch both shows at convenient times:
You Never Know
- Friday, July 6, 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, July 8, 2 p.m.
- Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m. (6 p.m. Dinner Theater)
- Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. (6 p.m. Dinner Theater)
The Fox on the Fairway
- Saturday, July 7, 7:30 p.m. (6 p.m. Dinner Theater)
- Friday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, July 15, 2 p.m.
- Friday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.
New this year, the Northern Fort Playhouse is offering a bus from Aberdeen, with stops in Groton and Webster (as requested) for July 6 and July 20 performances; however, the bus must be filled in order to run.
For menus, directions and additional information visit www.northernfortplayhouse.com or call 605-467-3247.
Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off South Dakota Highway 10. For additional information about the historical fort, visit www.gfp.sd.gov/fort-sisseton or call 605-448-5474.
*Ceroll (sir 'RUHL)
Upcoming S.D. State Park Programs Provide Family Recreation and Education
PIERRE, S.D. - Educational and recreational programming in South Dakota's state parks is increasing in the busy summer camping season. Several parks are offering programs allowing visitors to join a guided hike, cook over the campfire or enjoy a game of disc golf.
- Mountain Munchies Cooking Demonstration, Chief White Crane Recreation Area near Yankton, Saturday, July 7 at 10 a.m. Learn basic outdoor cooking techniques to bring flavor to your fire ring. Enjoy samples and take recipes to use at your next mountain campfire. Info: 605-668-2985
- Beach Bash, Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota, Saturday, July 7 at 10 a.m. CDT. Play games, do crafts and have some beach fun at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area. Info: 605-296-3643
- Patriotic Bike Parade, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Volga, Saturday, July 7 at 10 a.m. CDT. We will provide some decorations, but you can bring your own, too. At 10:45 a.m., we'll travel through the park. Treats afterward! Info: 605-627-5441
- Geocaching 101, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m. CDT. The park will provide GPS units for a lesson in the basics of geocaching. This will qualify as a Junior Naturalist Program. Info: 605-987-2263
- Independence Day Bike Parade, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Saturday, July 7 at 4:30 p.m. CDT. The park will provide patriotic decorations to deck out your bike! Feel free to show your red, white, and blue spirit by bringing your own decorations as well. At 5 p.m., decorated bikes will be judged and two winners will be chosen to lead the bikes. The parade will loop through the campgrounds in celebration of our great nation's independence. Please remember to wear your helmets! Info: 605-987-2263
- Campfire Cookoff, Roy Lake State Park near Lake City, Saturday, July 7 at 5 p.m. CDT. Bring your favorite meal made on the campfire or grill to share with other campers. Campers will vote for their favorite dish. Info: 605-448-5701
- Kids Patriotic Bike Parade, Snake Creek Recreation Area near Platte, Saturday, July 7 at 7 p.m. CDT. Bring bicycles to an area near the Snake Creek entrance booth to decorate them in a patriotic theme. The park will provide all materials for the decorating. A short parade will take place through the north campground loop. Info: 605-337-2587
- West River Critters Hike, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, Saturday, July 7 at 8 p.m. CDT. Learn about animals from the western part of the state on this hike along the Gavins Point Nature Trail. Info: 605-668-2985
All programs are free; however, a park entrance license is required to enter the parks. For more information on activities in the S.D. state parks, visit www.gfp.sd.gov, contact the individual park office or call 605-773-3391.
State Parks Offer Summer Nature Camps for Kids
PIERRE, S.D. - Four state parks are hosting nature day camps for kids ages 7-12. The camps are a great way for kids to explore the surrounding recreation area and focus on the outdoors.
Oakwood Lakes State Park near Volga is hosting a day camp from 9 a.m. to noon CDT on Tuesday, July 10. Prepare for hiking, campfire cooking, games and crafts! Call 605-627-5441 to register.
"Follow that Footprint, Paw Print, Hoof Print" at Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs is Wednesday, July 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MDT. Learn about the many animals of the area, how to identify common animal tracks, and make an animal track to take home. Call 605-745-6996 for more information or to register.
North Point Recreation Area near Wagner is hosting a camp at Lake Wagner City Park on Wednesday, July 11, at 2 p.m. Activities may include disc golf, kite flying, arts and crafts, kayaking, archery and nature exploration. Everyone will have the opportunity to get wet and muddy! Call 605-487-7046 for more information.
"Water" will teach participants with a hands-on lesson, craft project, hike/walk and games at Palisades State Park near Garretson on July 12 at 9 a.m. CDT. This qualifies as a Junior Naturalist program. Call 605-394-3824 for more information and to register.
While the camps are geared for kids ages 7-12, younger children may attend if accompanied by an adult. Kids are reminded to wear clothing appropriate for the weather, and also bring bug spray, drinking water and shoes comfortable for walking. Sandals are not appropriate. No snacks or refreshments will be provided, but kids are welcome to bring their own. There is no fee for the camp; however a park entrance license is required to enter state parks and recreation areas.
For a complete list of state park events, visit South Dakota state parks on the web at www.gfp.sd.gov.