Members of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission hear testimony during a meeting Sept. 7, 2023, in Watertown. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Commission denies expanded hound hunting for mountain lions after hundreds of comments

BY: - September 7, 2023

WATERTOWN — After receiving hundreds of written public comments, the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission denied a proposal Thursday that would have allowed the use of dogs to hunt mountain lions in a broader area of the Black Hills.  However, the commission directed the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to reassess its mountain […]

Pheasants Forever launches new initiative to expand outdoor access in South Dakota

BY: - August 23, 2023

In an effort to enhance public outdoor access and support long-term land conservation, Pheasants Forever has unveiled a new program targeting 10,000 acres of land in South Dakota annually. The new Public Access to Habitat (PATH) initiative aims to complement the current South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Walk-In Area program, which pays landowners about […]

A human-made beaver dam in the Black Hills National Forest, which the Forest Service calls a “beaver dam analog.” (Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service)

Leave it to beavers to help restore streams in the Black Hills

BY: - June 11, 2023

Beavers may not realize it, but they’re at the heart of a project in the Black Hills National Forest to restore areas adjacent to creeks.  These spaces, called riparian zones, are crucial in maintaining water quality, preventing erosion, regulating water flow and providing habitat for aquatic and land animals.  Black Hills National Forest officials say […]

Ducks become flashpoint in growing debate over resident vs. nonresident hunting

BY: - May 24, 2023

HECLA — Alex Russo never intended to start a hunting lodge and guiding service. But he was honorably discharged from the Marines about a decade ago after serving overseas and suffering knee and back injuries. “Honestly, what I want to be doing is over there, serving with my brothers,” Russo said.  Russo always had a […]

Lesser prairie chicken perform a dancing or "drumming" mating display in northern Oklahoma. (Getty Images)

Biden rule protecting lesser prairie-chicken overturned by U.S. Senate

BY: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed on a 50-48 vote a resolution overturning a Biden administration rule that listed a popular Southwestern game bird under a federal endangered species designation. The White House has vowed President Joe Biden would veto the resolution if it clears Congress. Similar legislation has been introduced in the […]

Deer stand in a field in South Dakota. (Courtesy of SD Department of Game, Fish and Parks)

Something we can all agree on: Crossings reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions

BY: - March 27, 2023

A deer stands paralyzed in the middle of a mountain highway, stunned by the lights and deafening roar of an 18-wheeler barreling toward it. At the last second, the deer leaps back into the forest. This time, the deer and the trucker avoid a fatal collision, but this stretch of Interstate 5 in southern Oregon […]

A South Dakota hunter walks the tall grass with his dog.

Federal government awards $23 million for Prairie Pothole Region

BY: - March 21, 2023

The federal government plans to spend $23 million to restore and conserve grasslands and wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region, which is known as the “duck factory” of North America and is home to migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. The money is part of the Department of the Interior’s $120 million in funding from […]

Cold Springs Creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where parcels of private land are being added to the Black Hills National Forest. (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

Black Hills National Forest adds 239 acres through deal with elk group and landowners

BY: - March 16, 2023

The Black Hills National Forest is growing by about one-third of a square mile. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation acquired 239 acres of land from two landowners for a total of $1.1 million and conveyed it to the national forest. The land is high in the remote western area of the forest in South Dakota, […]

A northern long-eared bat. (USFWS)

Endangered designation raises further alarm about bats in Black Hills

BY: - December 2, 2022

The federal government’s designation of an endangered bat species hit home this week in the Black Hills, where the bats lurk in caves and abandoned mines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species on Tuesday. That announcement came as part of an effort to save the species […]

State’s 2022 threatened and endangered species review complete

BY: - November 23, 2022

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has completed a list of threatened and endangered species in the state.  The Commission completed its most recent review at the September Commission meeting where the status of the Peregrine Falcon was changed from endangered to threatened. Surveys showed the species met the downlisting goals first identified during […]