Home
About
Agencies
Agency RSS
Agency
Listservs
Archives
Multimedia
Subscribe
Contact

Governor's Column: Protecting and Preserving Our Outdoor Treasures





Protecting and Preserving Our Outdoor Treasures

By Governor Kristi Noem

November 1, 2019

 

Fall in South Dakota really is a special time. As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, the desire to get into South Dakota’s outdoors goes up! Fall traditions abound and our natural resources rise to the occasion. Migrating ducks and geese fill our skies, pheasants explode from a shelterbelt, bugling elk and buck deer tug at our thoughts… we can hardly wait to take family and friends out in the field.

 

But when we take in these extraordinary sights and sounds, it’s important to remember the role we all play in protecting and preserving these treasures for future generations.

 

We’ve just recently learned that zebra mussels are present in Lake Francis Case. This invasive species is primarily spread to other water bodies through live wells, bait wells, and water left in boats. As boaters and anglers, we have a responsibility to know the laws and protect our waters. Clean, drain, and dry your boat every time you use it. Boat plugs must be pulled – and stay pulled – until the next time you use it. This is especially important to remember when you’re duck hunting this fall. 

 

We’ve also learned that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected in Bennett County, which means this disease is spreading among deer and elk in South Dakota. In 2020, deer and elk hunters will have new rules for transporting and disposing of carcasses. CWD is transferred through direct animal-to-animal contact. However, infected carcasses that aren’t properly disposed of can, and will, spread this disease. These rules are crucial to protecting our deer and elk herds. We have a responsibility to future generations AND to our wildlife. Get to know the new rules.

 

Another great way to preserve our outdoor heritage for the future is to take the time to mentor. When I say mentor, I mean more than kids. Take a neighbor, coworker, friend or family member fishing, hunting and camping. Spending time with people new to the outdoors is imperative. Your knowledge, passion, and access are precious and gifts worth passing on.

 

If you don’t think these issues impact you, you’re wrong. If you use South Dakota’s outdoor resources for any form of recreation, you need to do your part to take care of them and pass them on. I don’t want the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts to have to solve these issues when we can do something about it today.

 

South Dakota's beautiful outdoors are here for all of us to enjoy – for today and for the next generation. We must all take care of them together.

 

###