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GFP Commission Proposes Fee Changes for State Parks





PIERRE, S.D. – Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed changes to state park campground classifications, as well as some entrance and facility fees.

State Park Director Katie Ceroll said the changes reflect the increased demand for and use of the state’s campgrounds and facilities.

The department recently reviewed campground occupancy rates, which are used to determine the classification of the campgrounds and the per night fees charged. Camping fees for each of the classifications will not change, Ceroll said, but fees at several parks would see a modest increase as they are moved into the correct category.

The proposal would establish the following campground classifications:

  • Basic campgrounds: Campgrounds without modern facilities. $11 nightly per non-electric site; $15 nightly per electric site.
  • Modern campgrounds: Less than 80% weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $13 nightly per non-electric site; $17 nightly per electric site. Includes 7 campgrounds.
  • Preferred campgrounds: 80-89% weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $15 nightly per non-electric site; $19 nightly per electric site. Includes 7 campgrounds.
  • Prime campgrounds: 90% or higher weekend occupancy during the summer; feature restrooms and showers. $17 nightly per non-electric site; $21 nightly per electric site. Includes 32 campgrounds.

Other fee changes proposed include:

  • Elimination of the per person daily entrance license. The $6 per vehicle daily entrance license remains unchanged.
  • Camping cabin fee increase to $45 in all parks except Custer, which will remain $50 per night.
  • Campsites in French Creek Horse Camp in Custer State Park increase to $31 per night.
  • Increase in some group lodging fees: Mina Lake and Shadehill to $205 a night; and Lake Thompson, Palisades, Sheps Canyon, and Newton Hills to $280 a night.

The proposal also calls for fee increases for the use of the following state park facilities:

  • Fort Sisseton South Barracks rental would increase to $500.
  • Lewis and Clark catamaran dry slip summer storage would increase to $325.
  • The Angostura catamaran dry slip summer storage would increase to $175.

Details of the proposed changes can be viewed at http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/.

The Commission will finalize this proposal Nov. 2-3, 2017, at the McCrory Gardens in Brookings. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CDT on Nov. 2. Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. CDT at McCrory Gardens in Brookings.

-GFP-

GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.