The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission held their October meeting at Cadillac Jack's in Deadwood. The commission finalized proposals from their September meeting.
The commission approved to standardize check out times for all modern lodging (lodges, camping and modern cabins, and suites) to 11 a.m., reducing customer confusion and allowing for adequate time to clean between stays. Campsite check out was not included in the changes and will remain 4 p.m.
The commission also approved to allow for the sale of the following year's park license earlier than Oct. 1 if necessary. Allowing some flexibility with the issue date will help meet customers expectations. An example is someone visiting a park on Sept. 30 would be able to purchase the new license for the upcoming year.
Due to increased use and the need for basic services, the commission approved to increase camping fees at Dude Ranch, Elm Creek and Sheps Canyon to $11/day.
The commission also approved to reclassify Randall Creek from a preferred to a prime campground due to high occupancy rates. This increases the Randall Creek camping fee to $22/day.
The camping fee for the Custer State Park French Creek Horse Camp was approved for an increase from $31 to $36/day by the commission in 2019. The increase was inadvertently omitted from the package that went to the Interim Legislative Rules Committee, and has been re-approved.
The next GFP Commission meeting will be held November 4-5 in Pierre.