Photo © Tammy Bashore

How to Make Changes to the Management of South Dakota's Outdoor Resources

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) manages the outdoor resources and associated recreational activities of the state under the authority granted by the South Dakota Constitution through South Dakota Codified Laws, Administrative Rules of South Dakota and policies of the Department.

Making changes in how the Department manages or regulates these resources requires different procedures and actions depending on whether the desired change is governed by state law, administrative rule or Department practices.

For example, while state law requires hunters to have a license to hunt deer, the GFP Commission sets a limit on the number of deer licenses that can be issued and then the Department establishes a deadline for hunters to submit applications for licenses.

  • Changes in Administrative Rules require approval by the GFP Commission.
  • Changes in the way the Department conducts or implements a business practice is approved at the Department level.
  • Changes in state law require legislation.

Administrative Rules

GFP is available to help customers if they are seeking a change with an adminstrative rule. The Department is also available to guide customers through the process and advise them on the appropriate language to use when crafting a change to a rule.

The Department may or may not agree with the change and that is fine. GFP is still here to help.

If customers choose not to work with the Department, they can complete a formal request and send their change directly to the GFP Commission and ask that they take action to adopt, amend or repeal an administrative rule.

This process requires individuals to submit a Petition for Rule Change Form that contains the following:

  • Text of a new rule, amendment to existing rule, or request to repeal a rule;
  • Identification of the rule itself;
  • Reasons for changes; and
  • Full name and mailing address.

Upon receipt of a Petition for Rule Change Form, the GFP Commission must act within 30 days to either accept the petition and initiate the process of making the change or deny the request and state its reasons for the denial.

Public Hearing

The Public Hearing portion of the Commission meetings is specifically designated for those attending the meeting to share their comments, thoughts, concerns and ideas on the specific rule changes of items listed within the finalizations section of the agenda.

The Public Hearing is required by law and occurs before final action can be taken on the rule changes the Commission has before them for final consideration.

GFP asks that individuals come prepared with their thoughts and comments and limit their speaking time to three minutes or less.

Open Forum

An Open Forum takes place at each Commission meeting. It is the designated time when the Commission allows members of the public to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas. The public can speak to the Commission on any topic other than those listed within the finalization section. GFP asks that individuals come prepared with their thoughts and comments and limit their speaking time to three minutes or less.

Rule Proposals and Finalizations

  • To view proposed rules or new rules, and to comment on them, visit: Administrative Rules Website.
  • Rules do not take effect until 20 days after they are filled with the Secretary of State.  See all Administrative Rules for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
  • Individuals can also provide written comments on commission rule finalizations by sending them to 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501, or submit an online form for Public Comment. To be included in the public record, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the public hearing (not including the day of public hearing) per HB 1006.

Department Practice

The simplest change is a change in Department practice; such as how we establish a deadline for hunters to submit applications for licenses. The easiest way to seek a change is to write the Department Secretary or contact your local GFP office.

State Law

If a change in state law or statute is needed, the Department may assist customers in drafting the information for submission to the Legislature. Individuals can also seek assistance in crafting legislation by directly contacting their local state representative or senator.

Contact Us

The best way to seek change is to ask Department staff for assistance. Department staff are also available to help determine whether the change requires a change in a state law, administrative rule or policy as described.