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Governor Daugaard Says State Can Run Wind Cave Campground at a Profit


(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Governor Dennis Daugaard wants to assist in resolving a federal sequestration cut. He thinks the state can help AND make a profit.  The Feds announced they will be closing the Elk Mountain Campground at Wind Cave National Park located next to Custer State Park in the Black Hills, this summer. The campground is not large, about 64 sites, but during the season several thousand people spend a night or more, as part of their Black Hills Experience.

According to the manager at Wind Cave, there is not enough money to pay two part time employees to maintain the campground over the summer.

Rather than complaining, our Governor sent a letter to the Director of the National Park Service Jonathan Jarvis stating:

“South Dakota has a worldwide reputation as a vacation destination, and the staff at our state parks does an excellent job in providing a pleasant camping experience. In order to assist the National Park Service in providing recreational opportunities for visitors to Wind Cave, he State of South Dakota would be pleased to operate the Elk Mountain Campground for the 2013 season.”offering the capabilities and services of the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks department to operate the campground during this season.”

In my opinion, this is a brilliant in two ways. Keeping campgrounds in the Black Hills open,  brings in revenue to our state, whether the facility is federal, state, or privately owned. Available campsites means “happy campers.”  Good for the reputation of the state, therefore tourism.

On the political side, the Governor is “calling their bluff.” How serious are the Feds about maintaining services? Do they want a solution or do they want the sequestration cuts to be painful, therefore guilting us to agreed to increase taxes, which is part of the Democrats agenda in Washington?

Also, the letter contains wording to the effect that because 6600 people used the 64 campsites last summer, the governor believes the state could operate the campground at a PROFIT.

Now, that’s a zinger!!!!!

Can’t wait for the Federal response.


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