House says South Dakotans should have an advantage on state campground reservations

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Camping

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — People who live in South Dakota would get a head start of two weeks over nonresidents to make camping reservations at state parks and recreation areas, the state House of Representatives said Thursday night.

The 42-28 vote sends HB 1138 to the Senate for consideration.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department opposes the legislation, making a veto by Governor Kristi Noem more likely. To override a veto requires a two-thirds majority of 47 in the House.

Representative Taffy Howard sponsored the bill. Howard lost a showdown with Noem two weeks ago over Howard’s attempt to require the governor’s security costs be reported.

Howard told House members Thursday that South Dakota state parks and recreation areas had 2 million more visitors in 2020. Other states give their residents fee preferences and time preferences on reservations, she said, and South Dakota providing a 14-day advantage wouldn’t be unexpected.

“We wouldn’t be the first state to do some things along this line,” Howard said. “It is an issue across the state.”

Representative Becky Drury spoke in support. “As soon as those camping sites come online,” she said, then snapped her fingers, “they’re gone.”

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