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SD Senate Kills Bill To Regulate Contested Waters

February 18, 2014, 4:45 PM

SD Senate Kills Bill To Regulate Contested Waters
PIERRE, SD -

The South Dakota Senate has killed a bill to regulate the use of public water that lies over private land after its main sponsor moved to defeat the measure.

The debate has pitted fishing and hunting enthusiasts against property owners.

Property owners say the public should not have access to water on their land. Those who hunt and fish say the water is in the public trust and open to public access.

Any body of water larger than 40 acres is considered part of the public trust.

Initial supporters of the bill said the courts have been waiting for the Legislature to establish policy governing these waters. These regulations have been sought after for nearly 10 years.

One Senator says despite the fate of this bill, the conversation must continue.

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