Flooding Closes Portion Of Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

PIERRE — A portion of Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota is closed due to flooding.

This closure affects the park’s East Unit, which includes the east campground and east boat ramp as well as access points on the south and east sides of Lake Vermillion. Access to the West Unit of the recreation area will not be impacted.

Recent rainfall and snowmelt has caused the secondary spillway to run over, which is designed to remove heavy water pressure from the dam face on the lake.

Park Manager Derek Dorr says flooding due to spillway runoff doesn’t typically last very long, but with a higher than normal rate of snowmelt in the runoff area, he expects it will last several days. The East Unit will reopen when waters recede and the area is useable.

Randall Creek Campground Closed To Evaluate Bridge

PIERRE — South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials have closed the campground at Randall Creek Recreation Area while they evaluate the condition of the bridge leading into the campground.

Debris collision from a flash flood last week may have damaged the bridge, which is the only way to access the campground. The day-use area and boat ramp remain open and accessible to vehicles.

The park will not be taking any new camping reservations at this time. Campers with upcoming reservations will be notified of the situation, and kept informed as more information is available.

Officials will be evaluating the bridge over the next several weeks and do not currently have an estimate of when it might reopen.

Neb. Game & Parks Continues To Assess Flood Damage

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission continues to assess damage from recent flooding at parks and wildlife management areas throughout the state.

Some state parks, state historical parks, state recreation areas and wildlife management areas located along rivers and streams in eastern and central Nebraska experienced flooded roads, campgrounds and buildings during the historic and catastrophic flooding of the past week. Game and Parks staff have been working diligently to assess the extent of the damage, but with many areas still underwater or inaccessible because of flooded or damaged roadways, the full impact of the flood on Nebraska’s state park system and wildlife management areas is not yet known.

A list of parks that are closed, partially closed or accessible only by alternate route is available on the Commission’s website at OutdoorNebraska.org/weatherclosures. Visitors to the page will also find a list of park areas unaffected by flooding. Though some parks are temporarily closed, more than 50 park and recreation areas remain open for outdoor recreation.

Additionally, the Cowboy Trail from Norfolk to Valentine will remain closed until the trail and its bridges can be inspected for safety and necessary repairs made. The public is advised to stay off the trail until it has reopened.

A timeline is not yet in place for reopening areas affected by the flooding. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asks that those with upcoming camping reservations be mindful that parks staff will not be able to make determinations about when those parks will reopen or answer questions about whether reservations might be impacted until after water levels recede. Individuals with advance reservations at areas impacted will be notified if the status of their reservation is affected as soon as parks staff are able to complete assessments of the parks and services.

Access to some wildlife management areas may be difficult because county roads and bridges have been washed out in some areas. For information on specific wildlife management areas, please contact your local Game and Parks district office. Contact information is available online at OutdoorNebraska.org/locations.

Questions about specific park closures should be directed to Game and Parks headquarters at 402-471-0641. As waters recede and reopening dates are set for specific parks, announcements will be posted at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Student Champions Will Be Crowned At 2019 GFP-NASP Tournaments

PIERRE — Young people from across South Dakota will show off their archery skills at the 10th annual National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournaments. This year’s tournaments will include both a bull’s eye target tournament and a 3D target tournament.

The bull’s eye target tournament will be held on Saturday, March 23, at East Middle School in Rapid City. The 3D target tournament is scheduled for Friday, March 29 at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Brookings.

The tournaments are sponsored by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and will host hundreds of young archers from across the state. Students will compete for individual and team honors in three age divisions. The top three individual and team winners will receive trophies, and the overall individual winners from the bull’s eye target tournament will receive a free custom-made bow courtesy of GFP. All students receive a free tournament t-shirt.

Students who participate in NASP within their schools or home school program are eligible for the competition.

“It’s gratifying to see so many schools introduce the sport of archery into their curriculum,” said Patrick Klotzbach, NASP Coordinator for GFP. “Studies have shown that students who participate in NASP like school better and attend school more often. NASP is a great partnership between GFP and local school districts.”

There is no charge to attend the tournaments, and the public is welcome. Individuals who wish to volunteer with the tournament may contact outdoorprogramming@gmail.com or call 605.220.2130.

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