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Legislators Listen to Constituents, Noem Doesn’t: Custer State Park Campground Expansion Doomed

Kristi Noem lost her shooting range; now Kristi’s Custer campground is going to flop.

In another blow to the Governor’s failing agenda, House Agriculture and Natural Resources vice-chair Representative Charlie Hoffman (R-23/Eureka) told KELO-TV over the weekend that House Bill 1048, the Governor’s controversial proposal to plow up scenic Barnes Canyon and lay 175 new RV state campsites, has stirred “negativity from all walks of life in South Dakota” that makes him “highly doubt” that the plan will make it out of his committee. Hoffman used even stronger language in describing HB 1048’s chances in the newspaper:

And while just last week, Republican leadership from both the House and Senate said they’re backing House Bill 1048, members of the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee where it’s set to be heard say the bill is dead on arrival.

“It’s going down in flames in committee,” said Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka.

The vice chairman of House Ag and Natural Resources, Hoffman said he and the rest of the committee have been inundated with constituent outreach regarding the project, and all but one email he’s received urged rejection of HB 1048 [Joe Sneve, “Gov. Kristi Noem’s $10 Million Custer State Park Campground Project ‘Going Down in Flames’,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.01.25].

Rep. Hoffman’s fellow House AgNR member Rep. Tim Goodwin (R-30/Sheridan Lake) was telling the press last week that expanding Custer State Park’s camping capacity would boost local business with “trickle down” economics from increased park visitors. But Goodwin is hearing the people speak:

“My position is to represent the citizens of my district and with 1,000 (plus) vote ‘no’ emails and one ‘vote yes’ email, I will vote to present my constituents with a no vote,” Goodwin wrote in his latest weekly report to constituents [Sneve, 2022.01.25].

Remember: HB 1048’s campground expansion is our Republican Governor’s bill. Hoffman and Goodwin are Republican Representatives say they are hearing from the Republican constituents who elected them that this Republican plan is a bad idea.

But hey, since the Governor spends most of her time pandering to her national Presidential primary base from her taxpayer-funded private video bunker and on her splashy trips to Las Vegas, it’s no wonder that she’s out of touch with her own Republican caucus and voters back in South Dakota. It appears the Governor needs to spend less time on Fox, on her plane, and in her sauna and more time at her desk working on legislation her constituents want.

Now Noem could still realize her Black Hills policy agenda is collapsing, take an interest, and try salvaging her Custer State Park campground expansion. House Agriculture and Natural Resources has not placed HB 1048 on this week’s agenda, so there’s still time for lobbying from the Second Floor.

But voters, take note: your feedback can sway your legislators, especially when the Second Floor has been vacated by an executive more focused on getting national attention than votes in the Capitol. Keep those cards and emails coming to Charlie, Tim, and the rest of the Legislature!


  1. Scott 2022-01-26

    I still say a moderate common-sense Republican could knock the socks off of Noem in a Primary. Noem is very venerable because she is wanting to be a national candidate that has lost touch with us.

  2. Mark Anderson 2022-01-26

    That name is perfect, Kristi’s Custer Campground. A home away from home. She can open it when she loses. Moving to Custer wouldn’t be bad.

  3. cibvet 2022-01-26

    ” moderate common-sense Republican “. When you find one of those, no doubt they will be riding a unicorn and waving a rainbow flag.

  4. nix 2022-01-26

    Kristis crap camp will pave the way for
    more assho*es like her to roll into our
    State so they can spray paint more
    of our Forrest trees with F J B.
    We have thousands of acres that one can disperse camp on.
    Far away from the concrete and Trump flags.
    You won’t hear Brad Paisley , Ted Nugent
    or Gene Simons on their loud speakers either. (3 musicians that think Trump is smart and Kristi is hot)
    If we could just sell Sturgis to Colorado,
    we could eliminate a huge annual freak show in the Hills as well.
    One step at a time …..
    While I’m at it, how about changing
    Custer State Park to:
    Red Cloud State Park.
    Maybe the spray painters will realize who’s land they are on…..but , I doubt it.

  5. Julie Kopp 2022-01-26

    Perhaps the little utilized group campground west of the Game Lodge could be refurbished and made into something usable? Every time I have driven by this very nice spot, the group campground’s sign has said Reserved…yet no one is ever there. Is there something wrong with the area? Sure, it wouldn’t hold 100+ RV’s but most campgrounds in CSP don’t.

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-01-26

    You know nix, I saw Ted Nugent play in Rapid almost 50 years ago. The Amboy Dukes were booed off the stage, everyone wanted Crow. Alice Cooper never showed.

  7. Donald Pay 2022-01-26

    Maybe there’s a Plan B. Often bills that run into a lot of opposition get referred to another committee as a way to get around a committee that might be balking. This bill was likely to be referred to Appropriations Committee anyway since there is an appropriation needed, so it could get a quick trip over there, and another opportunity for Noem to halt her Las Vegas booty calls and do her job. If I were in South Dakota leading the charge against this plan, I’d be advising people to start contacting the Appropriations Committee.

  8. Nix 2022-01-26

    Yep, been there Mark.
    Saw Ted in Sedalia, MO at the State
    Fair in 1975.
    Flaming arrows and jumping from his stack of Marshall’s in a loincloth.
    The journey to the center of Teds mind is a short trip.

  9. 96Tears 2022-01-26

    Governor Godiva needs another photo op of her on a horse, cowgirl boots and hat, holding the American flag. It seems to be the only tool she has left.

    Looks like Republicans in Pierre are sick of Noem’s arrogance, her ego trips, her entitlement and her scandals. Too many big guns in the GOP caucus are voting to kill her top agenda items instead of gang blocking to ram them through as they routinely did for Janklow, Mickelson, Rounds and Daugaard. She might want to talk with Thune about switching jobs in this election. She’ll be back home in Washington, D.C., and Thune could settle in for eight years and retire afterward.

  10. mike from iowa 2022-01-26

    Saw a jim dandy pic of Noem’s new state airplane that was just delivered. No appasrent room forher horse, though. Must have been an oversight, which would make that oversight the first to occur in South Duhkota since Kneip was in office.and I was crossing the Big Sioux near Carmel iowa to invade Hudson South Dakota’s Buckaroo bar.

  11. Guy 2022-01-26

    96 Tears & Mike from Iowa, what about the poor horse that has to endure all this pageantry? Did anyone ask the horse if it wanted to be involved in all this campaigning?

  12. Guy 2022-01-26

    If I were that horse…I think I would become a bucking horse.

  13. mike from iowa 2022-01-27

    Why did I recently read Noem has downsized the cost of the gun range and changed locations on campground? Were my eyes deceiving me?

  14. Guy 2022-01-27

    Mike, she never gives up. After all it’s “Kristi’s state” and we’re all just living in it.

  15. mike from iowa 2022-01-27

    Thanks, Guy.

  16. John 2022-01-27

    Snow Job Noem is at her campground expansion plans again. Perhaps Snow Job and SDGFP will be happy after they pave the entire Custer State Park.
    She downsized and moved it off the Wildlife Loop Road. Yet it still will inflame private campground owners and has its own sets of problems like a flood plain. The 80-90 year old dams that created the Black Hills “lakes” are some the worst and most in need of repair.
    Paul Horsted has a Facebook with photos and analysis. (Too hard to link to, damn FB.)

    Kevin has a post on SDPBS:

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