South Dakota State Parks Amend Camping Limits
This camping season will not be any different, and sites might even be harder to come by with reservation numbers at all South Dakota state parks up 20% from last year, but the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks Commission is doing what it can to ensure fair use for everyone, according to the Rapid City Journal.
The commission has closed a loophole in campsite use rules. Effective June 29, the existing 15-consecutive-day camping limit will now apply to a camping unit, such as a camper or tent, in addition to the person or group of people staying on the site at any state park, recreation area or lakeside use area.
The new rule will affect 3,752 campsites in 58 parks statewide, according to Bob Schneider, assistant director for the state Division of Parks and Recreation.
"The problem is the perception of unfairness," said Schneider.
Some campers would rotate family members' names listed on the campsite reservation, which allowed them use a spot for longer than the 15-day limit — in some cases, all summer.
"It is just to provide as much opportunity as possible for everyone," Schneider said. "There is a high demand for campsites in a lot of parks."
Custer State Park is one of the most popular state parks, but officials there say the new 15-day limit won't change much for them.
"As a park, we just haven't had that be a big issue," Richard Miller, superintendent of Custer State Park, said. The park's typical camper stays between three and four nights.