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SD Game Fish and Parks May Commission Meeting – Thursday May 4th, – Friday 5th, 2023

May 4, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - May 5, 2023 @ 1:00 pm

SD Game Fish and Parks May Commission Meeting Hyrid form
– Thursday May 4th, – Friday 5th, 2023

May 4, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. MDT | May 5, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. MDT

At the  Event Barn, Custer State Park

Livestream link https://www.sd.net/

Zoom Meeting Link https://state-sd.zoom.us/j/93912915359?pwd=K2FVZzdQSXJTY0NwWG5mSWpSazUwdz09 

To join via conference call, dial 1 669 900 9128 – Meeting ID: 939 1291 5359 – Passcode: 0565645

The Event Barn is accessed by road off of highway 16A that heads to the Custer State Park Game Lodge and it is in front of and  to the left (east) of the Lodge,

The agenda can be found at this link and  some of it will change  as we approach meeting date: https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/May_2023_Agenda_Public.pdf
 Here is a link to their “furbearer proposals” https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/ALL_PRO_May2023.pdf
which ask for  no change to beaver, mink, opossum, fox, raccoon, jack rabbit, badger, muskrat, weasel, or skunk seasons.  A proposal sheet about river otter season is not provided, we don’t yet know what that means.
Finalizations are on waterfowl season where they are increasing two types of non-resident waterfowl licenses by 300 licenses. https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/FIN_Waterfowl.pdf and deer hunting seasons https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/FIN_Deer.pdf
People can petition for rule change in SD. GFP allows you to post petitions here: https://gfp.sd.gov/makingchanges/  SDCL provides no deadline on when you can file  a petition, but the Commission must review within 30 days.  A petition for rule making on blow gun fishing legal in SD is  here – https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/Petition_Blowgun_Fishing.pdf    See below for links to PHAS’s beaver petitions.
More information about the meeting including the agenda & proposals/petitions is posted here:   https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/
The SDGFP Commission rejected both petitions and kept the 2021 version of beaver hunting/trapping rule in tact.  They did however indicate they may revisit the issue in December of 2023, after they learned what the results of the beaver inventory in Black Hills in the fall of 2023 finds.
PHAS has petitioned for changes to beaver trapping rules. We submitted two petitions that are different to maximize chances that one of them moves forward.

Longer petition with more changes requestedhttps://phas-wsd.org/wp-content/uploads/Beaver-rule-change-petition-threeXDF-May-2023-1-copy.pdf

Shorter petition with less changes requested, the text of this petition is also within the long petition (Thus you only need to read the long one)  https://phas-wsd.org/wp-content/uploads/Beaver-rule-change-petition-2two_XDF-May-2023-1-copy.pdf
We ask people to read our alerts on Beavers on our Beaver Campaign web page https://phas-wsd.org/beaver-and-river-otter/and our Various Alerts web page https://phas-wsd.org/misc/.
Beaver trapping is allowed in private & public land for 12 months in SD except on the BNF where it is 3 months and within the Black Hills Fire Protection district on private land, where it is 6 or 12 months depending on where you are.  State law allow folks to remove “conflict beaver” 365 days of the year with a request to and approval of SDGFP.
We ask  folks to write in support of better hunting/trapping rules and a management plan for  beaver.  SD has management plans for many species, but not beaver. To see GFP species plans: https://gfp.sd.gov/management-plans/ We also suggest folks write or testify against the Nest Predator Bounty Program, but that was approved in January for 4 years, so you are “speaking truth to power”.  See our alert at: https://phas-wsd.org/sd-nest-predator-bounty-program/
Here are some talking points

People should  write or contact SDGFP staff or commissioners, asking for

1. A 3 year moratorium on beaver hunting/trapping in the Black Hills National Forest and

2. Also ask SDGFP to either reduce or eliminate the months of  recreational beaver hunting/trapping from other public lands in SD, especially when the public land has a multiple use or wildlife management objective.  In our petition we reduced it from 12 months to 5 months, but allowed public land agencies to ask for more or less days.

3. Folks should ask for 5 months of beaver trapping statewide (reduced from current 12 months) on private  land.

4. Ask for GFP to create a management plan for beaver

5. Ask for GFP to prioritize non-lethal  control of “conflict” beaver

Deadline to submit written comments  for May 4-5th meeting, is just before midnight MT on Sunday April 30th – if you want them in the public record for the May 4th meeting. Late comments go to the June meeting,
Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record, comments must include your complete name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventytwo hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting) (Sunday night before midnight CT or MT depending on time zone of physical meeting)  Unless you want to communicate directly with each Commissioner  –  https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/members/  (no deadline)


You can testify in person or by Zoom at about 2 pm MT on Thursday, it is suggested you let GFP know you want to testify in advance (but they allow folks who did  register to testify).. Open forum is for speaking on any topic, the public hearing is just for rules up for finalization. To conduct the public hearing and/or open forum as efficiently as possible GFP  asks those wishing to testify to register by 1:00 pm CT by email to Liz.Kierl@state.sd.us. Testifiers should provide their full names, whom they are representing, city of residence, and which proposed topic they will be addressing.


May 4, 2023 @ 1:00 pm
May 5, 2023 @ 1:00 pm