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SD - SD GF&P presents state park idea to Lawrence County Commission

Dec 14, 2016

SD GF&P presents state park idea to Lawrence County Commission

By Heather Janssen |

Posted: Tue 4:53 PM, Dec 13, 2016 |

Updated: Tue 6:52 PM, Dec 13, 2016

It's creating quite the buzz around the Black Hills, turning Spearfish Canyon into a state park.

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks presented their proposal to the Lawrence County Commission Tuesday morning, showcasing some of the improvements they've made on the Roughlock Falls area earlier this year. They say their next step is a series of master plan meetings, getting the public's input on what they would like to see come of the proposed Spearfish Canyon State Park. Katie Cerroll, Parks and Recreation Division Director at South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, says, "It's so important to share the history of the canyon with the general public. Share who we are as the division of parks and recreation, and in turn, a dialogue to what's the responsible management, stewardship, and what are the opportunities?" But there is still work to be done to make the dream of Spearfish Canyon State Park come true. At a federal level, Congress must pass the land transfer bill, exchanging state land with federal land, where the state would then acquire popular tourist spots, Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake. The U.S. Forest Service has previously come out against the bill, saying they believe the way they take care of the land works great already. At a state level to make the park happen, the state legislature would have to pass a $2.5 million dollar funding bill, and designate the park.