A consulting firm presented the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission with a report card of sorts Thursday.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard selected Wildlife Management Institute to conduct a review of the wildlife agencies management of big game animals. It was prompted by persistent complaints about practices particularly in the Black Hills.
The review board identified several strengths and weaknesses of the current system and recommended possible changes. Strengths include the dedicated, knowledgeable staff, the department's efforts to engage the public and evidence that the management continues to evolve. Weaknesses include: internal communication, aged surveys and the lack of long-term planning.
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department Secretary Jeff Vonk called the review comprehensive and a strong endorsement of the staff. But he admitted that it accurately outlined some weaknesses, namely the need to establish a baseline population for deer, elk and pronghorn.
A copy of the review may be accessed on the GF&P website http://gfp.sd.gov/