SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A proposal to add a campground at Custer State Park has already had a major overhaul.
The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department (GFP) had originally requested about $10 million for a 176-site campground near the airport and near the wildlife loop at the state park.
The latest request is for $4.8 million for 66 campsites on 50 acres near Stockade Lake, according to the GFP. A GFP fact sheet said the proposed new site does not affect elk range and it will have no impact on the buffalo herds.
The director of the GFP’s parks and recreation division, Scott Simpson, said in a Jan. 21 KELOLAND News story that increased demand for camping at the park prompted the GFP to seek another campground.
Simpson also said the proposal could change as/if it moved through the legislative process. So far, the proposal is the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Gov. Kristi Noem mentioned the proposed 176-site campground in her Jan. 11 State of the State speech, “We plan to add more campsites at Custer State Park to expand our ability to host people from in and out of state.”
Simpson emphasized in the Jan. 21 story, “This is definitely a department driven idea. I want to make sure everyone understands that.”
Earlier this week Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka, told KELOLAND News that he doubted the original proposal would pass out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He had negative feedback from a variety of individuals about the proposed campground.
Hoffman said on Jan. 26 that there was continued resistance to the proposed campground including legislators who questioned if the government should be competing with private businesses.