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July 2013 Commission Meeting

July 8, 2013
Pierre, SD

Information

summary

Division of Administration Audio

Action Items
Approve minutes of the June 2013 meeting http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/archive/2013/june/Minutes.pdf
Additional Commissioner Salary Days
License List Requests

  • Lee's Meats of Tea requesting a list of 1000 resident West River Deer license holders and 3,500 East River Deer to mail a flyer advertising meat processing business for deer hunters; will target counties in the immediate area; Commission approved
  • Calamity Peak Lodge of Custer for list of Black Hills Elk Unit H-3 and CSP Elk license holders to send letter of invitation to stay at lodge while they are in the Custer Area; Commission approved

Information item
License Sales Report

  • License sales over the past month are catching up to this same time a year ago and are now only 1.3% behind that pace; resident annual fishing license sales are down 9.4%, resident Combination down 1.3% and Nonresident Annual fishing licenses are  up 6.9%
  • Senior Combination license up over 1000 licenses more than offsetting fewer Senior Fishing license that have been sold

Open Forum

  • None

Public Hearing Audio

Finalizations Audio
Antelope Hunting Season

  • Population Update: Pronghorn are native to state; gone from eastern SD by early 1900s and law made it illegal to kill; 1942 first regulated pronghorn season; historically population has been a series of peaks and valleys; recently trend has been down due to a couple of severe winters; Fall recruitment survey takes place Aug-Sept and goal to count 10% of doe population; in 2012 71 fawns/100 does (67 in 2011)
  • 2013 Aerial Survey in May-June covers around 33% of management area (survey 100% in East River units because of lower density); in 2013 have adult estimate of 25,000 animals (approximately 37,000 total) about 9% increase over 2012; ratio 45 bucks/100 does; current population objective is approximately 55,000 animals; seeking to increase population in most West River units, a couple of units in southwest where seeking only slight growth
  • To meet population objectives will ask Commission to reduce a few licenses/tags from proposal
  • Proposed changes from 2012 include: Offer resident hunters 165 less one-tag licenses (165 tags) and 345 less two-tag licenses (690 tags) than 2012; Units 45A (Lyman) and 45B (Ft. Pierre National Grasslands) will be issued zero firearm licenses. Therefore, Units 45A and 45B will also be closed to archery antelope hunting.
  • Staff recommended changes from proposal to offer resident hunters 100 more one-tag licenses (100 tags) and 100 less two-tag licenses (200 tags) than proposed.
  • Season dates Sept. 28-Oct. 13
  • Commission amended original proposal as recommended by staff
  • Commission then finalized amended rule changes

Early Fall Canada Goose Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012 include: Change the opening date from the first Saturday in September to September 1; Amend 41:06:16:07 to modify the boundaries of Units 1 and 2 near the Missouri River to remove portions from Unit 1 (area open to Early Fall Canada Goose Hunting Season) and include in Unit 2.  This modification would include all of Tripp County and that portion of Charles Mix County east of U.S. Highway 281 and north of S.D. Highway 46.
  • Staff recommended change from proposal to increase the possession limit for geese from two times (2x) the daily limit to three times (3x) the daily limit as recently approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Commission amended original proposal as recommended by staff
  • Commission then finalized amended rule changes

Sage Grouse Hunting Season

  • Proposed change from 2012 is to close this season for 2013
  • Commission finalized rule change to close the 2013 sage grouse season

Harvested wolf inspection requirement

  • Proposal would establish an administrative rule: Any person who harvests a wolf pursuant to § 41-6 shall notify a conservation officer within 24 hours after the kill and submit the animal for inspection by a conservation officer or other designated department representative no later than 48 hours following the kill.
  • Information from this inspection will help establish any reports of a wolf in SD and verification that the animal was a wolf
  • Commission finalized rule change as proposed

Bobcat Trapping and Hunting Season

  • Proposed changes from 2012: Change the west river season dates from December 14 through February 15, to December 26 through March 1; implement a harvest limit of 600 bobcats west of the Missouri River.  If the harvest limit is reached prior to March 1, the season will close; change the east river season dates from December 14 through January 5, to December 26 through the third Sunday of January (January 18 for the 2013/2014 season).
  • Staff recommended changes from proposal: Open the west river season at sunrise on December 26 and close it at sunset on February 15 (would make season 12 days shorter than 2012); do not adopt a bobcat harvest limit for the west river season.
  • The last three consecutive years of the West River bobcat season has experienced sex ratios that have been skewed towards a higher ratio of females being harvested.  Having more females than males harvested is an indicator of a moderate or heavy harvested population. The average harvest for the past 11 years is 647 bobcats for the west river season.
  • Commission amended original proposal as recommended by staff; Roll call vote was 5-2 and motion passed
  • Commission finalized rule change as amended; Roll call vote was 5-2 and motion passed

Hunting Season Proposals Audio
Waterfowl Hunting Seasons (Ducks)

  • Staff recommended changes include: Increase the scaup daily limit from 4 to 6; increase the possession limit for ducks, coots, and mergansers from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit as recently approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • USFWS Central Flyway Council will meet later in July to make final decisions on Federal Framework for waterfowl seasons
  • High Plains season dates Oct. 12-Jan. 16; Low Plains North & Middle Sept. 28-Dec. 10; and Low Plains South Oct. 12-Dec. 24
  • Daily limit may be comprised of no more than 5 mallards (which may include no more than 2 hens); 3 wood ducks; 2 redheads; 2 pintails; 1 canvasback
  • Commission proposed changes as recommended

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons (Geese)

  • Staff recommended changes include: Increase the Canada goose daily bag limit from 3 to 5; increase the white-fronted goose daily bag limit from 1 to 2; modify the white-fronted goose season from 86 to 72 consecutive days beginning the last Saturday of September; increase the possession limit for geese from two times (2x) the daily limit to three times (3x) the daily limit as recently approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Canada goose daily bag limit increase is contingent upon approval from the Central Flyway Council and USFWS; Federal framework establishes a season structure for white-fronted geese that includes either a daily bag limit of 1 with a maximum of 86 days or a daily bag limit of 2 with a maximum of 72 days.  Department staff have received comments from hunters and this recommended change would provide additional harvest opportunity for hunters and retains a season length that still overlaps with the peak migration of white-fronted geese through South Dakota.
  • White-fronted goose season would run from Sept. 28-Dec. 8
  • Unit 1 Canada goose dates Oct. 1-Dec. 16; Unit 2 Nov. 2-Feb. 14; Unit 3 Jan. 11-19
  • Commission proposed changes as recommended

Depredation Hunts and Resolutions

  • When private landowners experience wildlife depredation that cannot be mitigated by any other means, a pool of hunters may be called upon to help alleviate the problems with deer, antelope and turkey
  • Commission approved Big Game Hunt Resolution authorizing a big game depredation pool of hunters designed to assist in reducing wildlife damage to property by big game species other than elk and mountain lion
  • Will include 600 permits plus an additional 200 landowner permits; one change from last year, an individual may not register for more than 10 counties as part of the application process
  • Commission proposed change as recommended
  • Commission approved Elk Depredation Hunt Resolution authorizing elk depredation hunts designed to assist in reducing wildlife damage to property
  • Will include a maximum of 50 permits
  • Since there were no changes, the elk depredation pool hunts was not changed and Commission approved the resolution authorizing the pool for 2013

division of parks and recreation Audio

Information items
Good Earth State Park Dedication

  • To be held July 19 from 11 a.m. to Noon and both S.D. and Iowa governor will attend
  • Sent over 500 invitations
  • Will have a large tent as shelter to the elements so will hold dedication on site not matter what weather presents

Major Project Building Committee Reports

  • Required by law anytime state takes on large building projects
  • Committee must and interview firms to be considered for the projects
  • CSP and Good Earth visitor centers
  • June 27 meeting for the CSP Visitor Center selected ARC International as the lead and they will pull in additional resources to complete the work
  • June 17 meeting for Good Earth State Park and selected HDR as the lead firm
  • In both cases will start development for plans immediately; goal for this to take less than a year so can award construction projects a year from now; both projects are dependent on fund-raising

Park Revenue and Visitation Reports

  • Total revenue is up 4.8% over the same time in 2012; $7,089,720.46 for 2013 vs. $6,765,687.10 in 2012
  • Custer State Park is having an outstanding year
  • Camper Fee Units up 9%; 115,607 in 2013 vs. 106,026 in 2012

division of wildlife

Action item Audio
Renzienhausen Slough State Game Refuge

  • Kent Perkins owns a portion of the land included in this State Game Refuge and has requested that his land be taken out of the refuge; encompasses around 60 acres
  • Staff recommends the following change to accommodate Mr. Perkins: This refuge comprises all of sections 25 and 26, less the North Half of the North Half of the Northwest Quarter, North Half of the Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of the Northwest Quarter, North Half of the South Half of the Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of the Northwest Quarter, North Half of the South Half of the Northwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter, and North Half of the South Half of the South Half of the Northwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter of Section 26, all in township 127 north, range 60 west of the fifth principal meridian, except for a shooting and retrieving zone 50 yards wide on the north, west, and south sides of section 26, 50 feet wide on the south and north sides of section 25, and 50 yards wide on the east side of section 25, as posted.
  • Commission approved removing the private land from the refuge

Information items
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Annual Report

  • Last year the auctioned tag was changed to be valid anywhere in the Black Hills and this had a positive impact in raffle income has made this a coveted one-of-a-kind tag and more valuable as a raffle item
  • Net revenue was $26,953 which will be used as part of contribution for elk work in S.D.
  • Applying for the raffle tag for the coming year
  • Anticipate an increased interest in raffle and the tag this next year

Wildlife Diversity Update Audio

  • Work on state and federally listed endangered species; to deal with difficulties of working to keep species from becoming endangered a national grass-roots effort called Teaming With Wildlife Initiative is in place
  • One of objectives has been to identify permanent funding sources; a national tax has not been successful but have been able to implement State Wildlife Grants which are connected to State Wildlife Action Plans; must be associated with enforcement and education; this is an annual appropriation that must be sought each year; derived from federal tax dollars; strong emphasis on preventing future endangered species and not waiting until a species is so rare it must be listed; funding supports state-level on-the-ground projects; program has had bipartisan support; Action Plans are to ensure that states are being strategic about spending of funding
  • State law mandates protection of threatened and endangered species; surveys of state citizens have shown strong support for diversity of state's wildlife
  • As of July 1 have completed 55 grant projects and another 18 in progress
  • Last Wildlife Action plan in 2006 with a 5-year update; took a habitat approach with idea that a diverse habitat would be of most benefit to multiple species; wanted a voluntary approach
  • Identified four questions: what are essential habitats, what have changed since SD was settled; which animals need special attention for long-term survival; how can we be more proactive in preserving species
  • Some accomplishments include: update a breeding bird atlas that was first done 25 years ago (254 species found with 242 confirmed as breeding in SD); research project with Oglala Lakota College on distribution, abundance, and seasonal habitat of ornate box turtles a species that is very vulnerable to over-collection for the pet turtle trade, students did extensive work on project; importance of mountain pine beetle infestations and fire as black-backed woodpecker habitat in the Black Hills, bird is highly dependent on disturbance to forest range (for example, from fire and pest outbreaks), and these results will be very timely to respond to petition to list some portions of this bird’s range under the Endangered Species Act
  • Expect updated Wildlife Action Plan to be completed around the end of the year

Education Events

  • Events held in June were popular with attendance totaling around 350 and averaging 30-50; most Step Outside events have attendance around 30 kids depending on the number of volunteers and activities provided
  • Around 50 events on schedule for July-August; Step Outside events will be around in the state in Sturgis, Wessington, Salem, Custer, Vermillion, Martin, Mobridge, Onida and Armour
  • Nature Day Camps taking place at many of the state parks on a regular basis
  • Two premier events are the Outdoor Universities at Rapid City (July 20) and Sioux Falls (August 3) Outdoor Campuses; growing in popularity among young families looking for hands-on outdoor experience; fishing and fish cleaning, cooking, archery and BB shooting, kayaking and more; GFP education staff have lead but many other GFP staff on hand to show what their programs are doing
  • Family Fishing weekends at Family Park near Sioux Falls; Friday evenings and Saturday mornings; up to 30/session; have been getting a diverse crowd and see new faces with each session

Next meeting
August 1-2
Watertown Event Center