In Governor Kristi Noem’s world, Indian tribes can’t stop motorists on their sovereign territory to make sure they aren’t bringing coronavirus into their communities, but game wardens can set up roadblocks anywhere in South Dakota to stop boaters from spreading zebra mussels, which can mess up boats, beaches, and water pipes but don’t directly sicken or kill any humans.
The Indians stopping cars on the highways are just asking questions and turning back non-residents to alternative routes. Game Fish & Parks will be searching your boat without a warrant:
All boats traveling through an AIS [aquatic invasive species] checkpoint are required to stop. Once stopped, a department representative will conduct a risk assessment. If the vessel meets multiple risk factors, a more thorough risk assessment will be completed.
Inspections may include:
- Inspecting the exterior of a watercraft and trailer for the presence of organisms or organic material that may harbor aquatic invasive species.
- Examining any interior portion of a watercraft that may carry or transport water or organic material, including engines, motors, livewells, ballast tanks, and bilge areas.
If any organisms or organic material that may harbor aquatic invasive species are found or suspected to be present as a result of the inspection, the department may decontaminate the watercraft or order its decontamination [South Dakota Game Fish & Parks, “Laws and Regulations,” “SDLeastWanted.com, retrieved 2020.06.15].
Bob Mercer reports GF&P will be stopping innocent boat-toters in ten places: four near Rapid City-area docks, six along the Missouri River “and some eastern counties at highway ‘pinch-points’ where many boaters will be driving by.”
…but they are bad enough for her office to propose a whole new law, House Bill 1033, authorizing the statewide checkpoints during the 2020 Session. Governor Noem signed this emergency bill without any squawkings on Fox News or The Federalist about Freedom™ or Personal Responsibility™.
Representative Spencer Gosch (R-23/Glenham), who has expressed umbrage about the tribal coronavirus checkpoints, was one of eight legislators to vote against zebra mussel checkpoints. Kudos, Representative Gosch, for consistency!