GFP Commission Considers Increase to Park and Camping FeesSeptember 18, 2019
GFP Commission Considers Increase to Park and Camping Fees
With the state park system facing $8 million in flood damages, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is considering increases to state park entrance and camping fees.
Fee changes every few years are common to adjust for the rate of inflation, but the revenue from these increases would directly support repairs caused by flooding and storms across the state. The state park system suffered approximately $8 million in damage to park infrastructure this year, ranging from tree damage to shorted electrical pedestals to washed-out roads and campsites. One of the most impacted was the campground at Randall Creek Recreation Area near Pickstown, which is closed to campers indefinitely after the bridge leading to the campground was damaged by floodwaters this spring.
The modest increases per fee could potentially provide an additional $3 million in revenue to help maintain and repair park amenities and necessities needed to maintain access and services for the public. We need to make sure our parks are meeting the high standards of excellence that all our park visitors expect, now and for generations to come.
Under the proposal, annual licenses for state parks would go from $30 to $36 and the daily fee would move from $6 to $8. The 7-day motorcycle pass to Custer State Park would increase to $20.
In campgrounds, prime campsites would increase from $21 to $26, preferred sites would move from $19 to $23 and modern sites from $17 to $20. Fees for non-electric, tent-only sites may be going down in some cases; proposed to be set at $15 statewide.
The decision of whether or not to finalize the proposal will be made by the GFP Commission at their next meeting on Oct. 3-4 in Chamberlain. Official comments for consideration can be submitted online or mailed to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence, and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. CT at the AmericInn in Chamberlain.
We welcome your feedback on this proposal. Thank you for your support of the parks.
Scott Simpson, Director
South Dakota State Parks
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