GFP News | CWD Plan Open For Comment; French Creek Horse Camp Closed

June 19, 2019
GFP Looking for Public Comment on Revised CWD Management Plan
Custer State Park Closes French Creek Horse Camp
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Department is seeking public comments on the revised draft of their Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management plan.
The objective of the “South Dakota Chronic Wasting Disease Action Plan” is to provide guidance and transparency regarding the management of CWD to wildlife managers and the public.
The plan can be found at:, and then clicking on the "2nd CWD Plan" link.
“The public involvement process in developing this plan included a diverse stakeholder group, several open houses, and discussions with numerous organizations and members of the public,” said GFP wildlife program administrator, Chad Switzer. “The involvement of those interested in CWD and the long-term outlook for our future deer and elk populations was appreciated in the development of this plan.”
Submit comments via email to or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501. Comments must include full name and city of residence. To request a printed copy of the draft plan, call 605.773.3387.
Comments will be taken through June 28th. 
The GFP Commission will be considering formal adoption of this plan at their July meeting in Pierre.
CUSTER STATE PARK – Custer State Park’s French Creek Horse Camp will be closed until Friday, June 28 after park staff discovered horses in the camp tested positive for Equine Influenza A. 
Last Friday, June 14, staff was notified of coughing horses that were located in the campground. Custer State Park then called Fall River Veterinarian Clinic, who performed tests on three different horses. Though the horses did not show typical signs of the virus, all three horses tested positive for Influenza A.
After taking direction from State Veterinarian, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, park staff will disinfect the entire area, including all horse stables and leave them empty for eight days. In addition, all horse manure will be removed from the camp.
According to the Animal Industry Board, the equine virus is commonly spread by airborne transmission. Infected horses release infective droplets into the air by coughing or snorting which are then inhaled by horses in close proximity. Horses can also be exposed to the virus by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces such as stalls, wash racks, stocks, water sources, feed, tack, grooming equipment such as wipe rags, and transport vehicles. Humans can spread the virus from horse to horse by contaminated hands and clothing.
To stay at Horse Camp, Custer State Park does require all out of state horses to provide a health certificate within the last 30 days and a negative Coggins or ELISA EIA test within the last 12 months. In-state horses are not required to provide documentation. 
Day riding in the park is still open for visitors, but riders will need to refrain from riding out of Horse Camp.
For questions or more information, please call the Custer State Park Administrative Office at 605-255-4515.
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