SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A proposal to add a campground at Custer State Park has already had a major overhaul.

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department (GFP) had originally requested about $10 million for a 176-site campground near the airport and near the wildlife loop at the state park.

The latest request is for $4.8 million for 66 campsites on 50 acres near Stockade Lake, according to the GFP. A GFP fact sheet said the proposed new site does not affect elk range and it will have no impact on the buffalo herds.

The proposed new campground site at Custer State Park is near Stockade Lake. Map from the GFP.

The director of the GFP’s parks and recreation division, Scott Simpson, said in a Jan. 21 KELOLAND News story that increased demand for camping at the park prompted the GFP to seek another campground.

Earlier this week Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka, told KELOLAND News that he doubted the original proposal would pass out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He had negative feedback from a variety of individuals about the proposed campground.

Some of those with questions and concerns said the 176-site campground would negatively affect wildlife in the area.

Hoffman said on Jan. 26 that there was continued resistance to the proposed campground including legislators who questioned if the government should be competing with private businesses.

Simpson said today, Jan. 27, that the changes were made after the GFP reviewed input about the original plan.

The GFP knew it had other possible options which included the new site near Stockade Lake and existing campgrounds, Simpson said.

“We came up with an option we thought would address concerns,” Simpson said.

Although some have referred to the proposed Custer State Park campground as Gov. Kristi Noem’s idea, Simpson stressed on Jan. 27 that the idea started with the GFP.

At the end of the day, this is a (GFP) department-led project. We have presented the idea to the Governor. We are the ones who presented it. We are the ones working with the Legislature.

Scott Simpson GFP division director

Noem mentioned the proposed 176-site campground in her Jan. 11 State of the State speech, “We plan to add more campsites at Custer State Park to expand our ability to host people from in and out of state.”

Simpson said the new proposed 66-site campground provides people the opportunity camp in the park, something private campgrounds can’t. “We can satisfy (some) of that demand,” Simpson said.

There is still camping demand for private campgrounds to expand if they choose, Simpson said.

The proposal is in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and could be discussed next Thursday, Feb. 3, Simpson said.

Simpson said the new site