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Noem’s Custer State Park expansion bill defeated in committee

The plan aims to bring in more tourists to Custer State Park, but there’s a rising concern...
The plan aims to bring in more tourists to Custer State Park, but there’s a rising concern about what that could mean for wildlife in the area.
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 10:43 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - Governor Kristi Noem’s proposal to add campsites at Custer State Park was defeated resoundingly in committee Tuesday by a vote of 9 to 3.

Noem’s office had recently scaled back the size of the proposal after significant pushback from state lawmakers and their constituents. The proposal was further amended in committee to cut the overall acreage of the campsite in half.

However, lawmakers say the pushback has still proven to be too much to vote against.

“The people of District 30, where Custer State Park is, have spoken loudly,” said State Rep. Trish Ladner (R-Hot Springs). Ladner added that she had received thousands of personally written negative emails about the proposal.

Lawmakers also argued that the bill was unnecessary given the amount of private campgrounds in the area.

“The private sector could have this project done by 2023,” said State Rep. Roger Chase (R-Huron).

Noem’s office has not commented on if they intend to bring back an even more scaled back version of the bill.

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