Monday, January 18, 2016

RCJ: Badlands fee hike bad, state park would charge to visit Roughlock Falls

The Rapid City Journal is ironing out its website problems but its editorial board can't seem to visit the forest for the fees.
The proposal calls for raising the walk-in rate from $7 to $12, the motorcycle rate from $10 to $20 and the vehicle rate from $15 to $25. These passes are all good for seven days. The Park Service also wants to raise the annual fee from $30 to $50. Regardless of the outcome of the public hearings, it is important that members of the public attend these meetings and challenge park officials to specifically explain the need for rate hikes that will certainly discourage some from visiting one of the true treasures of the western U.S. [editorial]
South Dakota Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard wants to make part of another public treasure a state park after lawsuits in Spearfish Canyon are settled.
Last week, the Journal asked Doug Hofer, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation for the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks, if the creation of a state park would bring an entry fee to Roughlock Falls. Another state official, Hunter Roberts, a policy adviser to Daugaard, told the Journal that while Spearfish Canyon State Park is a long way from reality, an entrance fee to the park and Roughlock Falls is a possibility over the long-term. [Seth Tupper]
Land stolen from tribal nations appears to be going to a corrupt red state again. While tribes are forced to raise $9 million to buy their own land, the State of South Dakota can decide to just sue for it.

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