Sunday, February 22, 2015

Item #1, Index to Home page

This "home page" is managed like a blog, - items are added and deleted to this page to keep it timely.
As it was printed, in April 2017 - this "Home page" is about 40 "letter size" pages of text.
Scroll down immediately below for an index of how this "blog" is ordered..  
 Older excerpts of the blog,  from 2015, 2014 and 2013 are found on "older posts",  which is a button on the lower right.
Home page: 2017 Deadlines and Events  and then alerts or issue/project discussions


Item # 2, Events/Deadlines

1. Events & Deadlines & Alerts in May, June & forward in 2017

  A chronological list of environmental events. 
This list begins with 
 1.) Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) events 
2) iterative events,- a local environmental/conservation group's monthly meeting list 
(iterative events - events which reoccur each month at same day/time) , 
 3.) then specific events for a few weeks of the current month (chronological) 
4.) then goes to events in future weeks of  May and June
Issues we follow 
Alert Topics 
5) . then it goes an alerts:
A) announcement of Petitions to list or de-list under ESA and 
B) on possible radioactive waste disposal test drilling in Haakon County,
C)  S3254/SB 114 (Land Trade Little Spearfish Canyon & Bismark Lake) - PHAS opposes this land trade
This is a long section & provides many links to learn more about the issue associated with the proposed trade.
D).  SD Important Bird Areas
E)  Missouri River Recovery
F) it inserts SD legislative alerts as of March 10th 
This has not been not edited since 3/10/17 & this is also a very long section
G) to Sage Grouse Litigation filed by PHAS and others in February  2016
6) then goes to - suspended campaigns discussions, for which comment deadlines have past,
 but related issues persist

6). Links to web sites that continuously display documents or hearing notices

We shelter e-mail addresses by replacing @ with (at) 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society  (PHAS) Meetings & Events

Prairie dog photo copyright by Nancy Hilding


Evening meetings occur as announced, but normally meetings occur towards end of month - i.e: in the second half of month.  

We have PHAS lunch meetings each month at Hana's Restaurant, (Asian food),
on 3550 Sturgis Rd, Rapid City  - they occur also towards the very end of the month
so expect one at the end of May,  June etc.
- lunch - Tuesday May 30th, 11:45 am to 2:30 pm. 
We may have meal time meetings sometimes in Spearfish, at Perkins. If you live in Northern Hills
and are interested in such...let Nancy know.
May 6th (Saturday) - Field trip to La Creek National Wildlife Refuge (scroll down for more info)
May 19th (Friday eve) - Endangered Species Day - Speakers:  Scott Larson on endangered & petitioned species in SD 
and Erik Molvar on activities in DC on Endangered Species Act, 
at  Rapid City School Administration Building Community Room 
(scroll down for more complete info),
June 1-June 15th - PHAS hopes to help with Climate Watch - Citizen Science project , scroll down for more info.

Field trips occur when announced.  Board meetings are by conference call and members welcome. 
Contact - nhilding (at), 787-6779



Early Part of the Month Enviro Group Meets:
Various environmental groups meet in first weeks of the month on a fixed/repeating day of month.

The Black Hills Sportsmen have lunch meeting (start 12:00 am) the first Tuesday,  Rapid City, Rushmore Hotel, for info: Eric Porisch <ericporisch(at)>, 
May 2nd - Black Hills fishing report from Hans Stephenson of Dakota Angler & Outfitter. 
Rapid City Chapter of Izaak Walton League may meet in the eve (6:30 pm) of the first Wednesday
Rapid City,  normally at  Outdoor Campus West (OCW)
for info: Mark Boddicker <boddicker (at)>
Statewide conference in Winner April 28th-30th (scroll down)
Next  meeting is evening of  May 4th,
Northern Hills Bird Club meets the first Thursday eve (7 pm) , Sturgis Library - except  in June-August.
- they also generally have 2 field trips each month on Saturdays -- scroll down for info. or for info: Nancy Drilling, President - nancy.drilling (at), 791-0459   
May 4th, is next meeting 
National Park Service Volunteers, Larry Putnam and Ingrid Arlton will present the program.  They have been given a special assignment to  photograph the birds that are found on the property.  In the process of finding and photographing the birds over the past year, they've also documented the beautiful trails, changing flora and delightful fauna of the area.
The Rapid City Sustainability Committee meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at the City/School Administration Building at 5:30 it is open to the public and they focus on sustainable practices for the City.
For info: Erik Heikes:  EHeikes (at)
Dakota Rural Action normally meets second Tuesday eve, mixed locations,
for info: Gena Parkhurst <gmp66 (at)>
Next meeting may be third Tuesday  5/16 @ 6pm Outdoor Campus West.  Speaker is Rachael Zatterstrom, a Western Organization of Resource Council
 staff person, Please verify
The Black Hills Photography Club meets the second Tuesday of the month at Outdoor Campus West, 6:30 pm.
Some times, the meetings are about photography of outdoor's subjects
and photography field trips to photograph outdoors may also be planned.
May program - "Wild Scenic Nature Slide Show"  , the date might be May 9th., please verify the date.
Devil's Tower Night Photography Fieldtrip is this Saturday, May 20. Meet at BAM at 8:30pm. April will be there to lead. If anyone is interested Rachel and Jodie are leaving at 4:30pm. If any questions you can contact Rachel or 304-575-7314.
The Darton Society meets the second Wednesday of each month from September through May in the Adelstein Gallery at The Journey Museum. Happy hour is from 6:00 to 6:30.  The potluck dinner begins at 6:30. There is a very short meeting at 7:00 followed by a program.
For info: Cathie or LeRoy Draine at 787-5956 or cathiedraine (at)
Norbeck Society normally meets second Thursday eve, Rapid City,
SDSMT, Classroom Bldg., Faculty Lounge 5:45 pm
for info: Bob Burns < (at)>,787-4783
May 11th, Andy Detwiler, "Geo-climate: An intricate balance"
SD Chapter of Citizen's Climate Lobby meets the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10:30 at 1888 Hillsview Dr. in Rapid City   For info: Mary Deibert,  rmdeibert (at), 605-484-5790.
Clean Water Alliance normally meets the second Saturday
at 9:00 am in the Helen Hoyt Room at the Rapid City Public Library. They will have a meeting this next Saturday
May  13th, 2017.
for info: nobhuranium (at)
Meets occurring at not regular times  of the Month:

Black Hills Group of Sierra Club has meetings and outings as announced
For info on Sierra Club, : Sandra <sandralss (at)> or
or visit events at:
 Field trip to La Creek NWR on May 6th

We shelter e-mail addresses by replacing @ with (at) 






 - May 1st & ONWARD


Friday eve, May 19th, 2017
Endangered Species Day Celebration (ESD)
Rapid City School Administration Building, Rapid City, SD
300 6th Street - Community Room, use SE entrance, 
Meet & greet with snacks -  6:15 pm - Speeches start 6:30 pm
PHAS always helps sponsor an event on Endangered Species on this weekend of ESD -
this is the 11th Celebration in Rapid City
Black-footed Ferret

Scott Larson, 
North and South Dakota Field Supervisor,
Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

will speak on:
  Part 1:  Threatened and Endangered Species in SD - Update 
                Part 2:  The National Workplan: Species Under Evaluation in the Dakotas

 Erik Molvar, 
Executive Director, 
 of Western Watershed Project
 will speak on:
“Congressional attacks on the Endangered Species Act: Where we stand today.”

Black-backed woodpecker - JJ Audubon

 Here is link to the USFWS page on SD listed species
Here is a link to the National Workplan which is related to  the second part of his talk 
Here is a link to Western Watersheds Project statement on endangered species

If you scroll down a long ways on our (PHAS) home page, you can see a list  all SD species with petitions to list under federal ESA & links to learn more. 

National Web site listing of event:
Sponsored by:
Humane Society of the U.S, The Norbeck Society, The Prairie Dog Coalition, Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Rapid City Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America,  Western Watersheds Project, SD Chapter of Citizen's Climate Lobby

May 19, 2017. - 
Deadline for comments on proposed Dewey Burdock
 In-situ Leach Uranium Mining Injection Wells

The EPA Region 8 Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program has issued Draft Permits and a proposed Aquifer Exemption Record of Decision for the proposed Dewey-Burdock Uranium In-Situ Recovery Site located near Edgemont, South Dakota. 
The EPA had scheduled  public hearings which are over.

The public comment period began March 6, 2017. 
The EPA is seeking comments through May 19, 2017 - extended to JUNE 19th 2017

Written comments must be sent before midnight Mountain Daylight Time on the eve of Friday May 19, 2017. extended to JUNE 19th 2017
Postmark will work for letters.
 Faxes can be sent at night.

How to Comment:
You may comment on the proposed actions in writing, using email, fax or mail.
Please submit comments to:

Valois Shea (
Fax: 303-312-6741
U.S. EPA Region 8
Mail Code: 8WP-SUI
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, Colorado  80202-1129

Environmental Group ALERTS - Links some with sample letters
and commenting ideas.

SD Clean Water Alliance has an alert & sample comment letter under the "Public Hearings" drop down menu:

Council on Responsible Mining (see web page on this:

Dakota Rural Action's Alert

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 is requesting public comment by May 19, 2017, on two Underground Injection Control (UIC) Draft Area Permits and one associated proposed aquifer exemption decision for the Dewey-Burdock uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) site located near Edgemont, South Dakota, under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act and UIC program regulations. The Dewey-Burdock site is located in southwestern Custer County and northwestern Fall River County, on the Wyoming/South Dakota border.

The EPA Region 8 UIC Program is issuing two Draft UIC Area Permits to Powertech (USA) Inc., Suite #140, 5575 Denver Technical Center Parkway, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111, for injection activities related to uranium recovery. One is a UIC Class III Area Permit for injection wells for the ISR of uranium; the second is a UIC Class V Area Permit for deep injection wells that will be used to dispose of ISR process waste fluids into the Minnelusa Formation after treatment to meet radioactive waste and hazardous waste standards. The EPA is also proposing an aquifer exemption approval in connection with the Class III Area Permit to exempt the uranium-bearing portions of the Inyan Kara Group aquifers.



Information Available for Review: All information submitted by the applicant and generated by the EPA during permit application review is available for public review as part of the administrative record and will be available on the EPA Region 8 UIC Program website. Public notice::

EPA Hearings on Proposed Uranium In-Situ Leach Mine
were held this past week May 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th
At the  5 public hearings 212 people testified and 197 were against the proposal:
April 27, 2017 in Valentine, Nebraska ,  May 8-9, 2017 in  Rapid City, South Dakota
 May 10, 2017in  Hot Springs, South Dakota  & May 11, 2017 in EdgemontSouth Dakota 

Senator Rounds Coffee -
May 19, 2017 
9:30 a.m. MT 
Western Dakota Technical Institute, Library 
800 Mickelson Drive,  Rapid City, SD 57703 


May 19th-21st
SDOU Spring meeting
Aberdeen/Sand Lake


May 20th, Saturday
Hazardous Waste disposal day in Rapid City
Once a year opportunity... don't miss!
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Central States Fairgrounds parking lot. 
Article about:

May 21, 2017. Comment Deadline, Sunday
National Forest Advisory Board Seeks Input on Non-Motorized Trails
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (NFAB) is seeking input from trail users in the Black Hills area to understand desired non-motorized trail user experiences for the future.  A short on-line survey was released today and will expire on May 21, 2017.  
The link to the survey may be found at
This is an on-line survey.


May 23rd 
Sundance, Wyoming
Crook County Courthouse, 309 Cleveland Street
  7 pm
Wyoming Game and Fish public meeting on cougar and wolf hunting season rules
There are 9  public meetings around Wyoming for  both wolves and cougars (they may be on  different days) 
They are spread around the state of Wyoming from May 4th to June 1st. Consult schedule for meeting near you - the one near the Black Hills of SD and Wyoming is in Sundance on the 23rd, Other near locations are Sheridan on 23rd and Casper on the 25th
Scroll down for discussion of Wyoming mountain lion season in suspended campaigns. 
This years changes reduce out-of-state cougar licenses in BHNF hunting district.
 Court Decision now allows hunting of wolves, so they are setting that up. 
They will not be hunted in National Park, hunted as trophy game in some areas with limits on numbers killed
& hunted as predatory animals in much of the of state without limit or license.

Comment deadline for Chapters 28, 42 and 62 is- 5:00 p.m. June 12, 2017

Chapter 42, Mountain Lion Hunting Seasons
View Statement of Reasons
View draft regulation (as of 4-6-17)
Submit online comment
Print comment form 
View meeting schedule

Comment deadline for Chapter 47 is  - 5:00 p.m. June 19, 2017

May 24th
Malt Beverage Renewals
  On May 24, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Board of Meade County Commissioners will consider & hold a hearing on the renewal of malt beverage applications and a new wine/malt beverage and a new off-sale liquor application for the 2017-2018 licensing year.  At the Erskine Administrative Building, Sturgis, SD. 

Alcohol sales renewals  are relevant to Rally venue sprawl near Bear Butte.

May 24th, Deadline - send an e-mail , or drive to Pierre
10 am Room 414 - we have been told that public testimony will be allowed, but only on the draft legislation that
will be put forward..
Non-meandered waters   Legislative Summer Study

 15 Legislators are sitting on a “Summer Study” committee looking for a legislative solution to the Supreme Court’s decision on non-meandered waters. SD natural waters are divided into non-meandered and meandered classes. Folks have been arguing for years about what are the SD law or rules for public access to non-meandered waters and how to interpret existing law and previous court decisions.  The Supreme Court recently tossed the authority to decide this to the legislature.  Link to Supreme Court decision

The South Dakota Wildlife Federation, which has been following this issue recommends the following action;
                          “Please email the 15 Legislators that are sitting on a “Summer Study” committee looking for a   
                   legislative solution to the Supreme Court’s decision. Ask them to please make outdoor recreation a beneficial 
                 use of the public’s water in SD. The solution to satisfy the SD Supreme Court and protect our rights is as simple as 
                that. Any landowner rights issues can and should be addressed through different legislation or by other means.”   

Regulation of Access to and Use of Non-Meandered Waters on Public and Private Property Summer Study
Look up summer study committee
Committee members  
 (Chair) Rep. Lee Qualm -, (Vice chair) Sen. Brock Greenfield, Sen. Gary Cammack, Sen. Jason Frerichs  -, Sen. Joshua Klumb, Sen. Craig Kennedy, Sen. Jim White -, Rep. Hugh Bartels  -, Rep. Mary Duvall -, Rep. Spencer Gosch, Rep. Spencer Hawley -, Rep. Steven Mccleerey -, Rep. Herman Otten -, Rep. Larry Rhoden -,  Rep. Burt Tulson

To look up legislators in SD

May 30th Tuesday
Prairie Hills Audubon Society's monthly lunch meeting
- Near the end of every month we have a lunch
at Hana's Restaurant, (Asian food), on 3550 Sturgis Rd, Rapid City  -
- Tuesday May 30th, 11:45 am to 2:30 pm. 

June 1st - 15th, 2017
PHAS has opportunity to participate in 
Citizen Science Project on birds and climate change.

To make this work -  we need  volunteers to offer one day of birding 
within designated small circles within a square with 10 kilometer sides , 
This is the second half of the 2017 Citizen Science Project - it is  in June (breeding season) 
and we need folks for June.
We also need volunteer leaders to help coordinate this project  in their grid, with other birders and with the  National Audubon Society.

The National Audubon Society has a citizen science project that happens between June 1st and June 15th this year (2017). Also it happened in January 2017 and both time periods of bird data collection, will repeat annually each year

Like the Christmas Bird Count, birders help the National Audubon Society (NAS) collect data on birds...Only this one means you bird  in warm June... not cold winter.  Each volunteer chooses one or more small circle(s) within a 10 kilometer square area from a grid supplied by the NAS and needs to bird for  5 minutes at one or more of 12 points (small circles) within that square and collect data on birds seen and someone must  send the data into NAS.   NAS is trying to understand climate changes effects to birds better.

This year the focus is on bluebirds and nuthatches, so local birders need to chose the good birding sites for these birds in their adopted 10 square kilometer area part of the grid.  It is suggested that next June (2018) the same 10 kilometer square grid sections are visited again.. but not  mandatory. Birders can share a 10 mile square kilometer part of the grid and each birder(s) set can adopt one or more points (small circles).
Scroll down for a map of the grid in the western SD/Black Hills region.

Grid system applied to the region around western SD. Volunteers bird at  one or more of 12 points they chose from within  one of these grids and send data in to National Audubon Society

Closer image in southern Hills

Closer in snap shot around Sturgis

An even more close in snapshot of grid applied to western side of Rapid City. Volunteers are needed to bird at one or more of 12 points in each grid that our Chapter adopts.  A point has a radius of 100 meters and volunteers bird & keep records for 5 minutes.

For more info - Contact Nancy Hilding 605-787-6779 or 6466  (land line) or Wendy Roth
605-391-7891 (cell), nhilding (at), or rothtk (at), Nancy can create maps for your part of the grid. 

Resources for coordinators and volunteers


June 5th ,Monday CMPR Committee Meets
Periodic Monday Committee Meeting(s)
8:30 am -10:30 am, Pennington County Commission Office, 
Pennington County is revising it's zoning  ordinance about construction and mining.
Construction and Mining Permit Review Committee is creating a draft section of ordinance, when completed will will then likely go to legal department for review and then likely public hearing before the Planning Commission and the likely have  2 readings (hearings) before the full Commission before adoption.... Public can send written comments on the draft to the Committee or attend and watch the Committee meetings -  the public will be allowed to speak or ask questions.. when they do so, is up to the moderator (Chair). 
The Committee may meet every other Monday.  Please verify if future meetings will be planned.

Pennington County moratorium on mining permits:
For info on process or copy of drafts: Holli Hennies, Commission Office Manager, Pennington County Administration Building, 605-394-2171, hollih (at), 
For PHAS concerns/review on this issue - Nancy Hilding 787-6466, nhilding (at)


June 7th, Wednesday, 5:30 pm
Pennington County Commission will consider the road to Pe Sla (Reynolds Prairie).
Will it continue with this Project?  What will abandoning it cost the County?
Prairie  Hills Audubon Society opposes this project.

DOT Environmental Assessment (NEPA) on the proposed project

June 8 -9, 2017
SD Game Fish and Parks Commission Meeting
Cedar Shore Resort
1500 Shoreline Drive, Oacoma, SD
Proposals in May (scroll up) will be finalized.
Rules proposed in May
The proposed administrative rule changes up for finalization are: 1) establish facility use fees for the Good Earth State Park visitors center, 
2) set season dates, units, and license allocations for SD deer hunting seasons, 3) amend rules authorizing terminally ill residents to hunt,
 4) set license allocations and fees for Custer State Park bison hunts, 5) amend rules for nonresident waterfowl hunting,
and 6) amend rules on trapping prohibitions.

New proposals may be
Antelope, Archery Antelope, CSP Antelope, Sage Grouse, Prairie Grouse Plan, SD Endangered species list changes,

June 9th and 10th
This year's SD Grassland's Coalition ranch Bird Tour
will be June 9th and 10th at a ranch in central Perkins County. These bird
tours give folks a chance to go birding on a working ranch and learn about
the positive relationship between good ranching practices and bird
populations. The activities typically end mid-afternoon on Saturday.
For info: Nancy Drilling
nancy.drilling (at), 791-0459  

June 9-11, 2017
2017 Annual Meeting-  Wyoming and Great Plains Native Plant Societies’
Weekend of Extraordinary Black Hills Hikes and Destinations
Check-in Friday afternoon at the Crook County Courthouse Community Room, 309 Cleveland St. in Sundance,
Registration fee of $15 is required for participation. Registration by June 1 is required for dinner reservations. Dinner & evening presentation on Saturday at Devils Tower 
Field Trips include: Moonlight walk near Sundance, Joyner Ridge Trail, Englewood Springs Botanical Area, 
Warren Peaks - montane grasslands, McIntosh Fen Botanical Area,  Dugout Gulch,

June 12, 13, 14, 2017 
Lichens of the Black Hills - An Introduction to Lichenology
Dr. Peter Nelson, PhD Instructing
Contributions from Steven Rolfsmeier and Mary Zimmerman
Green Ink Gallery & Studios, Nemo, SD

Classroom and field components each day! -- Lichen terminology, morphology and anatomy, biology and ecology. --  Identification of at least 10 lichen genera and numerous recognizable species that are locally common. --  Microscope/dissecting skills and techniques for chemical spot testing.
All equipment provided and space is limited.
For more information, or to reserve your place at this free workshop,
please contact Mary Z. at or 605-342-2552
This workshop is made possible by the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program

June 19th 
New Comment  Deadline on Dewey Burdock In-situ Leach Uranium Mining Injection Wells
Send to EPA
(see above)

June 20th-22nd
Pennington County Comprehensive Plan Public Workshops

Keystone Community Center / City Hall / Library
1101 Madill Street, Keystone, South Dakota, 57751
Wall Community Center
501 Main Street, Wall, South Dakota, 57790
Black Hills State University, Rapid City Campus – Rooms 124/126
                                       Learn More about Pennington's Plan @ 
                      Pennington County writes:
                       "A Comprehensive Plan is a community’s roadmap to the future. It’s a  
                      20+ year visionary document that helps guide all aspects of the 
                         community, including topics like transportation, economic growth, 
                         public facilities, and natural resources. "
July 13-14
SD Game Fish and Parks Commission Meeting

 July 14-17, 2017,
Park City, Utah
 for Audubon’s biennial convention. 

Designed to bring together Audubon’s vast network of dedicated chapter, state, national, and international leaders from across all four flyways, the  event will include an array of inspiring speakers, in-depth workshops and discussions, exciting field trips and birding adventures, and the camaraderie 
and networking opportunities that Audubon Conventions can provide.
Check out the full program for session descriptions and field trip choices.  
A scholarship is available for a Prairie Hills Audubon Society Member - deadline  for us to ask is June 1st, contact Nancy 787-6466 or nhilding (at)

We shelter e-mail addresses by replacing @ with (at) 

New Section

scroll down for various issues

A) announcement of Petitions to list or de-list under ESA and 
B). then it goes an alert on possible radioactive waste disposal test drilling in Haakon County,
C)  S3254/SB 114 (Land Trade Little Spearfish Canyon & Bismark Lake) & 

D) it inserts SD legislative alerts as of March 10th 
(not edited since 3/10/17 & a long section)
E) to Sage Grouse Litigation filed by PHAS and others in February  2016
F) then goes to - suspended campaigns discussions, for which comment deadlines have past, but related issues persist

Spragues pipit 
WildEarth Guardians - petition for pipit was recently denied - found not warranted to list, Spring 2016

Greater Sage Grouse - removed from the candidate list in September 2015


Scroll down further  for more  info on the petition to delist the American Burying Beetle, look for photo of the beetle 
Petition to de-list:

USFWS 90 Day Finding:

Black Backed WoodPecker, DPS
Chad Hanson , BCA, CBD
(deadline - USFWS decision in fall 2017) 

The Golden Winged Warbler, 
Anna Sewell


The Plains Spotted Skunk



western bumble bee petition
Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife
petition to list Monarch butterfly
Center for Biological Diversity, Xerces Society, Center for Food Safety

petition to list regal fritillary butterfly
Wildearth Guardians
Status of review 

 Petition to list Sturgeon & Sicklefin Chub, Wildearth Guardians,

 petition link:



Reptiles/Amphibians (lots-53 species)

One species within 53 species,  includes - Blanding turtle is in SD 

Center for Biological Diversity


Comment opportunity on proposed deep borehole drilling research test
Haakon County Commissioners met on Tuesday, December 6, limited public comment time was at 1:00 in Philip & the drill test was on the agenda.

 Haakon County does not have authority to approve or disapprove the research project, however DOE wants the contractor to get local approvals and do local outreach.
Haakon County Commission, PO Box 698, Philip SD 57567 Phone 605-859-2800, e-mail - haakon.public.comment (at)

The federal government is trying to find a new place & new way to dispose of  high-level nuclear wastes – and they seem to be considering Haakon County as a potential location.   Haakon County includes the towns of Philip and Midland. Phillip is east of Rapid City and Pennington County and NE of Wall.  The county sits directly south of the Cheyenne River Reservation and north of Interstate 90, Jackson County, and the Pine Ridge Reservation.  

Haakon County is being considered by Department of Energy as a location for a research project to  drill a test hole down to a depth of three miles (a “deep borehole”), slicing through groundwater aquifers.  This is being called a" Characterization Borehole"
 to see if the rock in the area is “appropriate” for nuclear waste disposal or the drilling plan works correctly. This "test" will cost 36 million dollars and may take 5 years. This drill hole might  be too small for depositing waste. There may be next step to drill a larger drill hole (17 inch), at the size that could be used for waste disposal - called "A Field Test Borehole" . This is not yet a proposal to deposit nuclear waste but a research test of a potential location. If a waste project ever developed subsequent to this research - waste would likely travel there along SD highways. 
Deep Borehole Field Test DE-SOL-0010181. DENR may have some regulatory authority on some activities associated with the test drilling  (or not) - DENR's Kent Woodmansey in Pierre is following this issue. DOE would fund the research project. Under SD law (SDCL 34-21-1.1) the Governor, or at his request the legislature, must approve use of SD for radioactive waste disposal.
Read up on this issue and view address for commenting to Department of Energy:

Link to DOE web page on this - you can download lots of documents about how to apply for an award for this set of research test.  Within document called the "RFP Amendment" you will see that DOE expects the applicant to get approval of locals, a task they expect applicant to  complete during the beginning of the drilling test project or full funding will not be granted. - https:///

Send your concerns on the Deep Borehole Project application for South Dakota to: Mark B. Payne, Idaho Operations, U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations1955 Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83415 The email address is: - SUBJECT : A–RFP for Deep Borehole Field Test: Characterization Borehole Investigations SOLICITATION NUMBER : DE-SOL-0010181

Spearfish Canyon and Bismark Lake 
Land Exchange Act

Prairie Hills Audubon Board voted to oppose this proposed 
land trade ("land grab") on Oct 18th, 2016. 

SB 114 bill currently in the SD Legislature to fund SD GFP efforts to acquire this land.

Federal bills that died at the end of 2016 and would need to be resubmitted in 2017
S. 3254 Spearfish Canyon and Bismark Lake Land Exchange Act (obsolete)
H.R.5871 - Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake Land Exchange Act (obsolete)

PHAS [and the Forest Service, the Norbeck Society, Black Hills Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America , BHG of Sierra Club and Black Hills Group of Dakota Rural Action] oppose the proposed land trade from Forest Service to SD GFP for Spearfish and Little Spearfish Canyon and Bismark Lake.
Link to an ad hoc group against  Little Spearfish/Bismark Lake land trade 

(S. 3254 by Senator Thune & HR 5871 by Noem). 

SB 114 was a bill in the SD Legislature on this issue. 
It would have make an appropriation to GFP to provide for the purchase and land exchange of properties held by the Office of School and Public Lands and declare an emergency  - This bill was assigned to Joint Appropriations Committee. The bill was killed in Committee.

It was heard in Joint Appropriations February 15th  & was killed in Committee. If you go to this link...and you see a blue eagle in a can listen to hearing,  if you have downloaded "RealPlayer" software (free)
Write to the members of the Committee

An excerpt from the proposed bill SB 114:
"There is hereby  appropriated from the general fund the sum of two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, to the parks and recreation fund to allow the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to purchase properties owned  by  the  Office  of  School  and  Public  Lands that  will  become  part  of  a  land  exchange agreement with the United States Forest Service to establish a state park at Spearfish Canyon in  Lawrence  County,  which  includes  Bismarck Lake,  to  be  managed  and  maintained  in perpetuity for the benefit of the public. "


This bill is but the local example of a nationwide effort by GOP to transfer federal lands to states.
Please look at GOP platform for 2016  on page 21
Quote from GOP Platform:
"Federal ownership or management of land also places an economic burden on counties and local communities in terms of lost revenue to pay for things such as schools, police, and emergency services. .....Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states."

Recent legislation in DC to make giving away public lands easier:

On January 3—the very first day the new Congress was in session—the House of Representatives voted to change a long-standing rule on how public lands are valued.

Below is a link to the SD GF&Parks website with information on the proposed exchange.

 On this web page you can download maps of the proposed land trade area.

Advisory Committee Application, due Jan. 18th, 2017 (Although effort not yet approved by SD Legislature or Federal Congress)
See S. 3254: Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake Land Exchange Act
A proposed act - submitted by Senators Thune and Rounds in 2016 - the 2016 bill died as not passed in last congress and will need to be reintroduced in 2017 if Thune/Rounds so wish:

Track in DC:  S. 3254:
Track in DC:  H.R.5871

Archived webcast of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing in which this bill was considered (one 21 bills discussed)  is available here:

Changes proposed by SD GFP if federal congress orders FS to trade property.

The Forest Service land would be traded at below market values to the state 
- as the appraised value of land would be limited by S 3254 to only it's agricultural value
& will not consider commercial, residential or industrial values. 
Please compare SD agriculture values with what GFP paid for it's recent purchases in Spearfish Canyon.
What cost to purchase land at Spearfish,Spearfish Canyon- Savoy on behalf of GFP?

Map of SD Game, Fish & Parks existing land & development at Roughlock Falls area, 

Map of Forest Service Lands that may be traded - Little Spearfish & Spearfish Canyon

Map of Forest Service Lands that may be traded - Bismark Lake

 Map of SD State School Lands that may be traded within Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.

The trade may involve some State School lands near Ft. Pierre National Grasslands in Lyman County, SD

USDA Forest Service opposes S. 3254: Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake Land Exchange Act.
A link to Forest Service testimony on the proposed bill

Here is Forest Service's Fact Sheet on S. 3254 - your browser may let you enlarge these JPG files:

 Rare Animals in Canyon

PHAS petitioned to list the American dipper (2008) and Coopers Rocky Mountain snail (2003) in the Black Hills as Distinct Population Segments (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act  (ESA) & this effort was denied by USFWS. For more information on these ESA petition efforts visit the links below. Impacts to these species from both proposed developments (that would facilitate increased recreation) & the resulting increase in recreation, is a concern of PHAS
in Spearfish & Little Spearfish Canyon.

Spearfish Canyon is designated as a state level Important Bird Area by National Audubon Society 
- view map on this page:
The National Audubon Society has recently inventoried & designated Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for SD
Link to Maps & data SD IBAs


Here is a study on dipper - likely done 2005-2009 (no date on report)
 - Lovett, K. The American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 
Report for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. 

Forest Service Management

Forest Service Management Direction (Recreational Emphasis) for Spearfish Canyon Area

Forest Service Management Direction (Recreational Emphasis) for Bismark Lake

Here are links to 4 Forest Service NEPA documents that may help you learn about 
BHNF resources and management at or near Bismark Lake & Little Spearfish and Spearfish Canyon

By-way Lakes Enhancement Project (RE: Bismark)
Vestal FEIS (RE: Bismark) 

West Rim FEIS (RE: Spearfish Canyon)

Links to info about trails and campgrounds.
BHNF campground & trail maps connect to Google maps with aerial view that can be moved about in the area

BHNF Camps & Trails
Little Spearfish Trail & Rimrock trail (BHNF)
Rod & Gun Campground  - (BHNF)
Bismark Lake Campground (BHNF)
Photo of Bob Marshall Cabins (FS cabins at NE side Bismark Lake)

SDGFP Management
Roughlock Falls Nature Area (SDGFP) 

Here is a You-tube video to a private person's videos of Roughlock Falls and nearby area

We suggest that folks call up or write in opposition to the land trade and/or ask for public meetings in SD on the proposal before legislation moves forward in federal congress or state legislature.

SB 114 is most immediate

Contact SD Governor Daugaard

Contact Senators Thune & Rounds:

Contact Ryan Brunner, Commissioner of School and Public Lands


a subset of a National Audubon Society Nationwideprogram

National Audubon Society recent conservation action in SD.
The National Audubon Society has recently inventoried & designated Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for SD
Link to Maps & data SD IBAs

Comment Period 12/16/2016 - 04/24/2017
Missouri River Recovery Management Plan Out for Review 
A new plan that will affect how the Missouri River is managed for year to come is out for public review and comment. 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Recovery Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact State (MRRMP-DEIS) that will directly impact fish and wildlife, outdoor recreation, and communities along America’s longest river was released in late December. 
The plan is very complex and with its supporting documents runs over 4,900 pages.
Both The Izaak Walton Leauge & the National Audubon Society are reviewing it.

The Government says:
" The Draft Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and EIS accomplishes the following: 
• Uses the best available science to develop alternatives and evaluate the effects of those alternatives on environmental resources and the human uses of the river; 
• Identifies a preferred alternative comprised of management actions based on the best available science and designed to avoid a finding of jeopardy for the species and minimize impacts to other resources; 
• Includes an adaptive management plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program to ensure management decisions are continuously improved by the learning that takes place from regular monitoring of the river and assessing the effectiveness of management actions. "

Documents available at for review during the public comment period from December 16, 2016 to April 24, 2017 include: 
• Notice of Availability 
• Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Appendices 
• Draft Science and Adaptive Management Plan 
• Supporting Technical Reports Incorporated by Reference 
• Missouri River Effects Analysis Reports 
• Human Considerations Technical Reports 
• Scoping Summary Report 
• Hydrology and Hydraulics Technical Reports 


Comment period closes Apr 24, 2017 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time



Prairie Hills Audubon Society's  (PHAS) 
Is deleted, but we can send it to you if you wish



Legislators at the 2/18/17 Cracker Barrel
February 18th in the morning 9 - 11:30 am  Rapid City Legislative Cracker Barrel 
(Rapid City- Outdoor Campus West [OCW])  
Five conservation groups co-sponsored this cracker barrel:
PHAS, DRA, Black Hills Sportsmen,  RCC- Izaak Walton League,&  BHG-Sierra Club 

For an article on this cracker barrel in Native Sun News:

photo copyright Jake DeGroot
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
  2. Is deleted, but can be sent on request

Announce litigation


Thursday February 25th
Complaint filed about greater sage grouse
PHAS major campaign announcement

On 2/25/16 Prairie Hills Audubon Society joined 3 other environmental groups (WildEarth Guardians, Western Watershed Projects, Center for Biological Diversity) in filing litigation to protect greater sage grouse. 
The  lawsuit is about more than a dozen greater sage-grouse plans produced by federal agencies, plans that fail to adequately protect this iconic western bird from a series of threats, including fossil fuel development, grazing and mining. The plans cover about 70 million acres of public lands in 10 states, administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The suit doesn’t seek to eliminate the plans but to strengthen them with science-based protections recommended by the government’s own scientists.
To understand more details follow link to the press release below.
The case is Western Watersheds Project et al. v. Schneider et al., case number 1:16-cv-00083-EJL,

 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
We will also have a meeting about this in Rapid City,  on March 29th, 
scroll down to March specific events

USFWS photo

Press Release 2/25/16:

News Articles:

Link to Complaint. 

Link to Litigant's Protests of Agencies' Decisions (earlier step) :

Link to WWP et al. protests (an earlier step)

Link to WEG et al. protests (an earlier step)

Other References for NGOs

Link to Defenders of Wildlife's review of Draft Environmental Impact Statements on
BLM's & FS's grouse management plans

Link to "Evaluating Sage Grouse Conservation Efforts", WildEarth Guardians, August 2015

Link to "The Shrinking Geography of Sage Grouse Conservation", WildEarth Guardians, July 2015,

Related BLM & USFWS Federal Reports

Final EISs on BLM & FS Management Planning for Sage Grouse

A Report on National Greater Sage‐Grouse Conservation Measures, Sage-grouse National Technical Team, Dec. 2011
Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), Conservation Objectives: Final Report, February 2013 

NAS's Opposing View
 National Audubon Society's (NAS) opinion - NAS supports Federal Agencies' Decisions on grouse RMPs.


Delayed/suspended Campaigns
May 16th
American Burying Beetle Status Review, 90 Day Finding, comment deadline

American Burying Beetle Photo - Lindsay Vivian,
On August 18, 2015, the Service received a petition from the American Stewards of Liberty, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Dr. Steven W. Carothers to delist the American burying beetle (which is currently protected under the Endangered Species Act & can be found in SD). Some of the issues raised in the petition are items that are currently being evaluated through the Service’s species status assessment, including uncertainty surrounding the population trends, distribution, and threats impacting the species. 
         In response to the petition, the Service is publishing a substantial 90-day finding, which is the first step in determining whether or not the American burying beetle should be delisted. A substantial 90-day finding by the Service means that we will take a closer look at the status of the species and the effectiveness of existing conservation efforts through what is known as a 12-month finding. 
         The Service is requesting additional scientific and commercial data on the American burying beetle. We will accept public comments on the 90-day finding until May 16, 2016. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:
Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: the Search box, enter FWS–R2–ES–2016–0011, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2016–0011; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

Center for Biological Diversity's comment letter on USFWS's current status review of the beetle
it has a map of the range on  page 4.

USFWS web page on beetle:

USFWS Fact Sheet 

SD USFW page on:

USFWS 2008 status review --  it has a map of SD sites for 2008 on page 21:

Petition to de-list:

USFWS 90 Day Finding:

To see a map of beetle's range in 2004


June 3rd (Of  previous year  -2016 - out- of-date alert)
Deadline for sending in comments to Wyoming Game and Fish
on cougar hunting in Wyoming
Wyoming  triennial review/revision of their Wyoming cougar hunting regulations

photo by Bruce Tuten

Now is the time to act for Wyoming mountain lions! Every 3 years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

suggests changes to it's mountain lion hunting regulations, and NOW is that time.  You can send in comments on Wyoming Game and Fish on cougar hunting regulations, or attend a hearing in Pinedale in July.
Below is a link to a way to comment on-line 
Public comment due at 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 3, 2016.
Existing regulations (see map of areas, second link) 

             Latest version  (May 9th, 2016) of proposed changes to regulation.

The May version of the proposed rule change supersedes & improves an earlier circa April 4th, 2016  version.   Wyoming Game & Fish reduced "limits' on harvest  in 5 out of the 33 hunting areas between April & May.  We believe the May version replaces the April version which  is out-of-date   
General Link:

Meetings specific to cougars are past, but this shows locations (last meet - May 24th)

Comment to:
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
,  ATTN:  Regulations, 3030 Energy Lane,  Casper WY 82604
There is a way to comment on-line (by 5 pm June 3rd),

All written comments will be presented to the Wyoming G&F Commission for consideration prior to
the July 7-8, 2016 meeting in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Suggested comments below, with background in italics: 

~ We suggest folks object to Wyoming's past and planned future management  goals for cougar population in the Wyoming Black Hills. Their goal is to manage as a "sink". Please request the harvest "limits"be reduced and it be managed as "stable" or "source" populationWe suggest you object to "unlimited harvest" in the area to immediate west of Black Hills (Area 24).

A sink population keeps lion populations lower than the area could support, so lions will likely be drawn into the area to fill vacant habitat.  A source population exports lions. Wyoming does not attempt to count lions in it's areas. When SD counts/estimates lion populations it assumes migration equals immigration, which is a questionable assumption, given the aggressive "sink"management 
on the Wyoming side of the Hills.

4 years ago, in response to local public pressure Wyoming, reshaped harvest areas and increased harvest "limits" in Wyoming Black Hills Area (Areas 1, 30 & 32). The cumulative "limit" in Wyoming Black Hills is 61 lions, hounds are allowed and the season is 7 months long. To the immediate west of the Black Hills is Wyoming's Area 24, in which unlimited harvest is allowed for 9 months, with hound hunting allowed. In 2015-16, hunters in Wyoming failed to meet quota in areas 30 and 32 - so they harvested 54 out of  the cumulative 61 Black Hills lions allowed.  Wyoming allows out-of-state cougar hunters. SD does not. Some Wyoming hunters are upset because out-of-state hunters beat them to a limited supply of cougars.  In the 2011-2012 season Wyoming Black Hills harvest was 41 lions, and in 2012-2013 harvest was 61 in the Black Hills area - the first year of the aggressive sink management and larger harvest. An estimated two fifths of Black Hills/Bear Lodge pine habitat in Wyoming.  

SD's cougar harvest "cap" in Black Hills in 2015-2016 is 60, with a much shorter 3 month hunting season & very little hound hunting allowed.  In 2015-2016 SD hunters harvested 41 out of 60 cougars possible/allowed.  SD's lion population numbers, shorter season & restriction on hound hunting likely limits the harvest - before hunters can approach the "cap".  In 2011-2012 SD hunters harvested 73 lions. In 2012-2013 SD  hunters harvested 61 and in 2013-14 harvested 53 and 2014-2015 they harvested 43.
To the east of the Black Hills in SD (the rest of SD in GFP jurisdiction) is a 365 day season, with no limits & hounds allowed.

~ Thank Wyoming Game & Fish for their plan to switch the word "kittens" to "dependent young" which includes those traveling with mom and/or other kittens -- hunters can't kill dependent young.
~  And also thanks for new provision for checking to see if "harvested" females were lactating.

~ Thank Wyoming for downward movement of harvest levels in some areas:
Wyoming Game & Fish recommends downward movement of harvest ""limits" in 5 out of  the 33 hunting areas for cumulative reduction of 11 fewer lions killed per year. Reductions in  area 2 (in Teton County) , area 3 (in Sublette County) , area 6 (SW of Douglas), areas 12  ( in Sweetwater County), and area 20 (west of Worland). It merged Area 33 into area 11 & redefined boundaries of areas 19, & 20 in NW Wyoming..

Visit Cougar Fund's Facebook page for their alert to see their recommendations for cougar hunting goals in various areas of Wyoming ~ Cougar Fund thanks Wyoming for reductions but request additional reductions in some areas (Areas south of Yellowstone Park - areas 2, 18, 26,  29  & also Black Hills Areas):.

Or visit Panthera Puma Program for their recommendations for cougar hunting goals in other areas of Wyoming - they also recommend additional 
reductions of harvest area 2 & 29.

Or visit Klandagi -Cougar Rewildlng Facebook page for other insights

North Dakota Lions

July `14th, 2016 (OUT-OF-DATE alert)
Comments were likely most effective if sent by then by June 24th, but comments can be sent till July 14th
Comments due on the North Dakota Mountain Lion Management

Jeb Williams, Wildlife Division Chief, North Dakota Game and Fish 
Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095
ndgf (at)

For info:
Game Management Section Leader and Furbearer Biologist
Stephanie Tucker  <satucker (at)>, 701-220-1871

LINKS on ND & Tribal government 

You Tube video on ND Cougars

North Dakota Game and Fish, in partnership with South Dakota State University, has completed their first part of two --  three-year long studies of the mountain lion populations in their state. The results of the study indicate that the population is vulnerable, with a declining average age and a low survival rate. 

Mountain Lion Foundation's letter asking for a temporary moratorium on sport hunting due to low cougar population numbers:, 

 To read Cougar Fund's comment letter visit below link. The Cougar Fund puts forward positive solutions, 
such as creating and implementing a Mountain Lion Management Plan and emphasizing proactive conflict prevention like the use of livestock guardian dogs.



July 28th, Thursday
Eastern Cougar Delisting Comment Deadline
On June 28, 2016, the USFWS published a Federal Register notice  to reopen the comment period on the 2015 proposed rule to delist (due to extinction)  the eastern cougar - in order to seek review from independent experts, as required by USFWS 1994 peer review policy.  Reopening the comment period will also allow an opportunity for additional general review.  Previous comments need not be resubmitted.  USFWS anticipates making a final decision on the delisting proposal within the next few months. 
Currently the eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) and Florida Panther (Puma concolor corgi) are seen  by the USFWS as different sub species of cougar.

Here is the USFWS 2011 5-Year review on Eastern Cougar

Here is the USFWS 1982 Eastern Cougar Recovery Plan

Additional comments can be submitted starting on June 28 through July 28, 2016 at under docket no. FWS–R5–ES–2015–0001.    

For info: Mark McCollough, Ph.D.Endangered Species Specialist,Fax: (207) 469-6725, Cell Phone: 207 944-5709
mark_mccollough (at) or Krishna Gifford,  413-253-8619, 

Here is a  news article about issue

Wikipedia on

PHAS suggests that folks ask the USFWS to designate the area of Florida with Florida Panthers as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act. 

Here is a link to Mountain Lion Foundation's on-line sign-on letter on this

(OUT-OF-DATE alert) 

Deadline Past: January 15, 2016

(OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)
-  NRC FR Notice on Upton Mill site hearing process
See:  Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 220 / Monday, November 16, 2015 / Notices, page 70846

SUMMARYThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received an
application from Rare Element Resources, Inc., for a license to possess
and use source material associated with its Bear Lodge Project. The Bear Lodge
Project includes a mine in the Black Hills National Forest in Crook County,
Wyoming for the purpose of extracting rare earth element ores, and a rare earth
element processing plant in Weston County, Wyoming. In addition, the
license application contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI).

DATESA request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must have been filed by January 15, 2016.
 Defenders of the Black Hills has requested a hearing.  This review & licensing process is suspended at request of Company.
for info. on that process;

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to and search
for Docket ID NRC–2015–0255. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol
Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463;

"Kalman, Kenneth" <>   301-415-6664
Report of NRC on pre-application visit;
Rare Earth Mine Review Processes Suspended

Proposed Rare Earth Open Pit Mine 
North of Sundance, Wyoming

The Forest Service had completed the
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Bear Lodge Project. 

The Company (Rare Element Resources) has given notice it temporarily suspends all further activities on the Bear Lodge Project, which includes all permitting and licensing efforts, including the DEIS process.
There was going to have been a 45-day comment period  beginning January 15th and ending on February 29, 2016
– however the Forest Service has suspended the DEIS process and removed DEIS from web site availability:

Alternative H had been identified as the preferred alternative.
The DEIS was viewed (but is now deleted, except appendices and maps)
on the Black Hills National Forest website at

Public open houses hosted by the Forest Service were not  be held.
The 2  open house meetings  were suspended at request of  Rare Element Resources Inc. due to the company's decision to temporarily suspend the project. 

 ,Check with Forest Service  BHNF - Bear Lodge District for updates -Jeanette Timm 307–283–1361
jmtimm (at)

Discussion of issue as declared during scoping:

Rare Element Resources proposes to create a 232-acre open pit mine at Bull Hill on Forest Service (FS) land 6 air miles north of Sundance, Wyoming.  Ore will be crushed and concentrated at a facility on FS land.  A Hydromet Plant (chemical processing for crushed & concentrated rare earth mineral ore) is proposed to be at Upton, Wyoming, on private land next to the railroad.  Some existing roads will be closed, some upgraded, and some new roads built.  Mineral exploration will continue for 43 years. 

As the mine will be on FS land, an Environmental Impact Statement must be written.  The Forest Service has released the Draft EIS, you may read it and comment on it. The FS must respond to your questions and comments in writing in the Final EIS. 

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been reviewing an mining permit application for mine, that they received June 3rd, 2015. DEQ must give a first round response from their technical review that was due out Oct 31st. Usually a few rounds of back and forth between agency and applicant occur before application is deemed technically adequate. When permit application deemed complete and ready for approval, public comment period will start, it will be a 60 days for public commentingRER has requested temporary halt on their permit application process so
 DEQ review is also suspended at request of  Rare Element Resources. 
Other permits with Wyoming DEQ may be applied for by Company later.
Contact - BJ Kristiansen, 307-675-5615, for updates, bj.kristiansen (at)

MCTRG By-Pass Road Campaign
(OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)
The by-pass road  from I-90 to near the intersection of highways 34/79 - near Buffalo Chip
(Fort Meade Way) 
is currently being built. Efforts to oppose the road failed.
Citizens group Meade County Taxpayers  circulated and submitted an initiative to stop the Sturgis bypass road.
Through their attorneys, an Alternative Writ of Mandamus was filed to ask the superior court judge to order the subordinate Meade County Commission to fulfill their official duties and either enact the proposed ordinance without delay or appear in court (through outside counsel) to defend themselves and their inaction.  The Judge ruled in favor of County, saying petition not properly drafted -- it was broad in scope and due to broadness and reach, would have effected some Meade County land use authority - and to properly effect such authority, the initiative would have needed to be done via a different process.
 This road, if built, would increase the development pressure on Bear Butte State Park and National Wildlife Refuge.  Bear Butte is a very sacred place for many Native American tribes.  
PHAS has opposed this proposed by-pass road for a very long time - we believe creation of this road will have adverse impacts to the Park and NWR and Bear Butte and believe  opposition to this is road is environmental issue for western SD.
We had endorsed this initiated measure of MCTRG 
 Visit link below to stay up-to-date on this campaign and to connect with MCTRG by Facebook.

 Meade County Commission (MCC) Meeting
(OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)

Approval of Full Throttle Saloon Subdivision Plat (OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)
Went to the full County Commission on May 25th for approval of  final plat, which was approved, which will let Original Spoke/Broken Spoke, subdivide Broken Spoke campground into 2 pieces, where we think Full Throttle will buy at least one piece and buy or lease
the other part.  An environmental issue identified during our research into this issue, is that DENR enforcement of it's regulations on land application of septage (sewage) needs some improvement, as does the frequency of their monitoring of
 water quality of creeks in the Bear Butte area.

Approval of preliminary plat (to subdivide Broken Spoke Campground),  was approved on May 11th, by the Meade County Commission & final plat approved by Planning Commission May 16th and the County Commission on May 25th .(OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)

Photo of dirt work, ongoing at Broken Spoke Camp ground, south of main entrance

2010 Aerial view of Broken Spoke Campground

Meade County's various meeting agendas are posted at this web page (scroll down) , generally at least 24 hours in advance and materials that have been given to Commission about any item, can be downloaded by clicking on that agenda item, (Michael Ballard - Full Throttle Saloon Subdivision) then all the PDF files about the issue, show up on the screen for you to chose from.
You can go back and look at the minutes/agendas for Planning Commission meeting on April 18th, and the County Commisson meeting on May 11th and  May 16th , 2016 Planning Commission. (OUT-OF-DATE alert - 2016)

   On April 18th, 2016 Meade Planning Commission approved a preliminary ~ 50 acres plat which,
Original Spoke (current owner of Jay Allen's old camp ground) requested plat so as to break up the large 600 acre Broken Spoke camp ground in to 2 pieces. (Full Throttle Saloon Subdivision). They intend to sell property to Full Throttle, who will move up to Broken Spoke. The Preliminary Plat is approved, the next step is approval of the final plat

Rules about such are in state law

and County's subdivision ordinance  - Ordinance # 20.

Law about state agencies consulting with tribes

For info:
brich (at), jwilliams (at)
(For info: Equalization/Planning office - 605.347.3818, Bill and Jennifer)

MCC address, 1300 Sherman Street, Suite 212, Sturgis, SD 57785 - send e-mail for MCC to  their staff:
Jerry Derr <jderr (at)>
One could express concern about proximity to Bear Butte. One could also express concern over safety of traffic at access point off the highway, how sewage waste will be disposed and need of more details on development plans for plat/subdivision.
You can look at SDCL  11-3-12.1,  11-3-12/2. 11-3-8.1, 11-3-8.2 or pages 11- 17 of the Subdivision ordinance for required information.
Compare to what has been submitted by looking at the Agenda of the May 11th meeting,- Meade County posts the submissions on an agenda item  on their web site.
  For More info contact Nancy - 605-787-6779

Article in Native Sun News

Article in RCJ

Full Throttle Video



Links to Web sites that display/link to their documents or hearing notices continuously

SD Game Fish and Park's Commission meets the first Thursday and Friday of most months.
The hearings to finalize (approve) any proposed rule changes submitted by staff
 are heard the month after they are on the Commission schedule as "propose".
The Commission normally has the hearing at 2 pm on Thursday and normally allows comments on any subject briefly between 1 and 2 pm.
By SD statute the deadline for written comments on any rule making, is the close of the hearing
but GFP will offer suggested deadlines in advance of the meeting to allow Commission and staff to read comments in advance. 

To sign up to get announcements of events from GFP  online at:

SD Department of Environment & Natural Resources oversees Clean Air & Water issues in SD & Permits facilities that pollute:
 Click on the  following link to view all DENR activities undergoing public notice in South Dakota - this provides information on comment deadlines & links to public notices:

Visit this link to see projects the BHNF is working on

Visit this link for SD Public Notices in Newspapers
2. 2015 items - Deadlines & Events old , this has events, that recycle each year (will occur again next year)
3. 2014 & 2015  items - Recently expired comment periods with link to public documents

Even Older - Below items are from the 2014 SD legislative session 
#2. - #4 various out of date & obsolete legislative 2014 alerts
(in Feb Blog Archives )
5. Links to Environmental Bill Tracking Services on the Internet (SD 2014 Legislature)
(In January  Blog Archives)
6. How to Contact SD Legislature 2014
(In January Blog Archives)
7. SD Legislative Cracker Barrels and Legislative Coffees 2014,

 (In January  Blog Archives )
8. Grey Wolf Delisting Comment Opportunity 
9. Christmas Bird Count List 2013-14
10 Mt Lion, SDGFP Commission meet
11 BlackBacked Wood Pecker Meeting
12, Missouri River Ponca Bluffs  Meeting
13. BLM Management Plan Revision