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Help Promote National Grassland Heritage Proposal

December 13, 2009
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The South Dakota Wild Grassland Coalition thanks you for your continued support of the campaign to designate existing federal lands in southwestern South Dakota as wilderness. It’s been a long time coming, but we feel confident our congressional delegation will finally consider introducing legislation to create America’s first national grassland wilderness right here in Buffalo Gap National Grassland. We must keep up a statewide drumbeat of support to ensure this.

That’s where you come in: we need South Dakota Resources Coalition members’ help turning up the heat! Please take a few moments to call or contact online Sens. Johnson and Thune and Rep. Herseth Sandlin. We need everyone’s help letting our elected leaders know we’ve waited long enough to make grassland wilderness a reality.

Contact area county commissioners:

  • Pennington Co. Commission, 315 St. Joseph St., Suite 156, Rapid City, SD 57701. 605-394-2171
  • Custer Co. Commission, 447 Crook St., Custer, SD 57730. 605-673-4959

For more information and to get involved with SDWGC:

If you live in Pennington or Custer County, please contact your county commissioners. The message is simple: just tell your elected officials you support the wilderness designation in parts of Buffalo Gap National Grassland (Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills). Do you seek an ATV-free hunting experience? Then tell them you think it’s important that Indian Creek Road be closed to motorized recreation vehicles. Or tell them other reasons wilderness is important to you and your family. Tell them to protect special places for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, horseback riding and packing, canoeing and birdwatching.

Tell them to protect open space and the Western way of life. Tell them to protect the chance for your children and grandchildren to experience prairie lands as Lewis and Clark did passing through South Dakota more than 200 years ago. Whatever your reasons, you’re critical to the success of this campaign. Our elected officials need to hear from you!

Our friend and supporter Tony Dean said it best when he told us, “This isn’t about me. I’ve had my time. This is about our children and grandchildren, and giving them the opportunity for a true wilderness hunt—one where you don’t have to worry about an ATV coming over the next rise and scaring away the mule deer or pronghorn you’ve been stalking for hours.”

We greatly appreciate your help! Take a look at the South Dakota Wild Grasslands Coalition website, and contact Heather Morijah or Jim Margadant for more information. Let us know if you’d like SDWGC to provide a PowerPoint presentation at an upcoming club meeting or other get-together like Lions, Rotary, Optimists, Garden Club, Kiwanis, etc. Would you like to host a “house party” for a small group of friends or neighbors? Do you know civic leaders or business owners who’d be willing to write a letter on behalf of their organization or company? Would you write a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece for your community’s newspaper? We’re happy to help get you started!

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