President’s message – George Vandel, Pierre
January 27, 2020

Two issues for update:

I worked with Zach Hunke and Chris Hesla (Zach is the current President of the SD Wildlife Federation and Chris is their Ex. Director) to develop a draft alternative nonresident waterfowl license plan that we could support.  Things happened fast and the proposed draft alternative was shared mid-last week with the Wildlife Federation’s Board of Directors. Seeing that, I then shared the draft with our SD Waterfowl Association Board of Directors.  Both boards approved our use of the draft.  The draft was shared with GFP and the attorneys representing Alex Russo late last week.  Due to the fact that this “cat is out of the bag” I want to share the draft with you.  Click here to view the attachment.

We believe that the Russo attorneys were pushing their “option 3” (unlimited temporary permits) to be introduced as legislation.  We wanted to head that effort off by bringing forward our own plan.

We are likely to enter some form of negotiations with GFP and probably the Russo attorneys this week. At a minimum, we have presented an alternative that we can support which will provide significant access funds to benefit resident waterfowl hunters with minimal increases to nonresident permit numbers.

Finally, Senator V.J. Smith has introduced his habitat stamp legislation.  Please go online to the SD Legislature website to view the bill.  It is SB 75.  For now, I intend to support it as SDWA lobbyist.  The bill will provide additional funds for hunter access.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.  I will continue to try and provide you updates as soon as I can.  Please also be aware that I am doing the best I can to represent you and communicate with you in this fast moving and rapidly evolving process.

So, please stay in the loop, keep in touch, start visiting with your local legislators on these issues.  And feel free to share your opinions about our draft nonresident waterfowl license plan.  Call or text me at 605-295-2880 or e-mail me direct at gvan3@pie.midco.net

Our main issues 1) expanding and increasing quality waterfowl hunting access opportunities in South Dakota 2) maintaining quality waterfowl hunting in our state by balancing nonresident waterfowl hunter numbers such that they not create undue conflicts with resident waterfowl hunters and 3) to ensure that commercialization of waterfowl hunting in South Dakota remains low.

Board: John Simpson – Pierre, Spencer Vaa – Brookings, Tom Yseth – Brookings and Bill Koupal – Pierre.  Bobby Cox will serve as Secretary Treasurer and Chuck Dieter will serve as Past-president.