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2018 Elk Contingency Licenses to be Determined

CONTACT: Emily Kiel at Emily.Kiel@state.sd.us

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will look to provide a recommendation for this year’s use of elk contingency licenses at the GFP Commission meeting in September.

“The Department will use a variety of sources to help generate a recommendation for the GFP Commission to consider; including but not limited to a decision support tool, drought monitor, consultation with range specialists, and other resources,” stated Tom Kirschenmann, deputy director of the GFP Division of Wildlife. “Elk contingency licenses are a product of the elk management plan as a means of responding to environmental conditions such as drought or other catastrophic habitat events.”

GFP will meet with the federal Forest Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service at the end of August to discuss Black Hills range conditions and evaluate forage production data. In addition, the drought monitor will be used as an information source to help guide the formal recommendation to the GFP Commission.

“The percent of normal forage production obtained from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and current elk population objectives will serve as significant pieces of information in the development of the Department recommendation. This year’s favorable precipitation in the Black Hills will play a major role in these evaluations,” stated Kirschenmann.

The GFP Commission will take final action on Sept. 6 at the Lewis and Clark Resort in Yankton. Public comments can be provided in person during the open forum session of the meeting. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/.

To learn more about South Dakota’s elk management plan and the use of elk contingency licenses, visit https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/ElkPlanApril2015Final.pdf.