GFP News: Tabor Road Closed | Prairie Dog Control Programs | Roadside Mowing

June 10, 2019

  • Tabor Lakeside Use Area Inaccessible Due to Road Closure
  • Prairie Dog Control Programs Available
  • Roadside Mowing: Hold off until after July 10

Tabor Lakeside Use Area Inaccessible Due to Road Closure

PIERRE, S.D. – Game, Fish and Parks officials say Tabor Lakeside Use Area, located south of Tabor, is currently inaccessible to users. The road leading to the area, known as Tabor Road, is closed due to recent damage from erosion.

The Bon Homme County Highway Department, who maintains the road, has placed barricades to indicate no travel.

Prairie Dog Control Programs Available

PIERRE, S.D.—The South Dakota departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Agriculture (SDDA) want to remind South Dakota producers to contact either department regarding prairie dog encroachment issues. The state’s prairie dog control program is cooperatively operated by the GFP and SDDA.

GFP manages encroachment issues for prairie dogs that move from public lands to adjacent private lands, while the SDDA manages complaints between private landowners. 

“GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached onto private land from adjacent public land,” said GFP wildlife damage program administrator Keith Fisk. “However, landowners that have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within one-mile of the public land and have at least 10 acres (of actual prairie dog colonies) to be eligible for assistance.”

Additionally, landowners must register on GFP’s website and request assistance regarding unwanted prairie dogs before Aug. 15, 2019. Once eligibility has been verified later this fall, GFP staff or a department representative will control the invading colony on the private land. All complaints must be received by the Aug. 15, 2019 deadline.

Landowners who are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land should contact the SDDA. If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be completed.

There are two methods to file a complaint. The first option is for the affected landowner to sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board. The second method requires the landowner to submit a formal written complaint to the SDDA, as well as mail a copy to the neighboring landowner. Landowners can find the form on the SDDA’s website,, or by calling the SDDA at 605.773.3796. Notices of private land encroachment may be sent to the SDDA throughout the year.

Please visit to register for GFP’s assistance. For additional questions about assistance with prairie dog encroachment from public land or eligibility, please contact GFP at 605.773.5913. The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan is available online at

Register now

Roadside Mowing: Hold off until after July 10

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Transportation (DOT) want to remind individuals there are laws and rules governing when mowing right-of-way ditches can begin on the state highway system.

“Roadside ditches provide valuable nesting cover, especially in portions of the state with limited lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program or other upland nesting habitat,” stated Tony Leif, GFP Division of Wildlife director. “Our department is asking for the public’s consideration in delaying haying and mowing activities along roadside ditches as long as possible. These areas play a critical role in providing nesting habitat for pheasants and even the delay of a week or two will result in more successful nest attempts.” 

While current rules addressing roadside ditch mowing is only applicable to state highways, GFP asks landowners to consider postponing mowing on all roadside ditches and follow the same dates that apply to state highways.

Administrative Rule 70:04:06:06

No mowing of the right-of-way may begin in the West River counties of Gregory, Lyman or Tripp before June 15. No mowing of the right-of-way may begin in East River counties before July 10. For more information, please visit:

Codified Law 31-5-22

Violation of any rule authorizing mowing of ditches as misdemeanor. Any person who violates any of the rules authorized pursuant to § 31-5-21 is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. For more information, please visit:

In the spring and early summer, hen pheasants seeking suitable nesting locations are attracted to the vegetation in roadsides. Pheasant production in roadsides is diminished when roadsides are mowed prior to completion of nesting activity. Incubating hens nearing their hatch dates can be struck and killed by hay mowing equipment. Hens and newly hatched broods remain susceptible to mowing equipment for another two weeks after hatching due to the restricted mobility of chicks and the tendency of the hen and young to hide from approaching danger rather than flushing to escape.

The rule providing guidance on roadside ditch mowing does allow the DOT to begin mowing road right of ways before the start dates if there is a need to provide increased safety or to control noxious weeds.







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