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SB 157: Novstrup Tries Again to Boost His Wylie Park Business with Municipal Campground Bill

Hey, remember how last year Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) pushed a bill (2022 Senate Bill 179) that would have allowed Wylie Park, the city-owned and -operated park where his Thunder Road go-kart facility enjoys an exclusive contract, to expand its campground over the objection of nearby private campground operators? House Local Government sensibly shot down that self-serving socialism, thanks to the opposition of good capitalist campground operators.

Undeterred, Go-Kart Al has retooled his campground bill and is trying again to expand his Aberdeen camping-customer base with 2023 Senate Bill 157. This measure differs substantially from last year’s bill in one way: where last year’s bill allowed municipal campgrounds to steamroll nearby private campgrounds’ objections if the municipal campground had operated continuously since 1980, Sb 157 would provide that exemption to municipalities in 43 of South Dakota’s 66 counties, including Novstrup’s Brown County:

Counties affected by 2023 SB 157.
Counties affected by 2023 SB 157, colored magenta.

The municipalities not given the favor of Senator Novstrup’s socialist scheming lie mostly along the I-29 tourism corridor and in the Black Hills. The individuals who testified against Novstrup’s socialist campground bill last year came from Minnehaha County, Pennington County, and Custer County, all of which are exempted from this year’s bill. Senator Novstrup evidently figures if he does a favor for just enough private campground operators, they’ll let him do himself a socialist favor in Brown County.


  1. scott 2023-01-27 08:33

    So why do you suppose the present law that limits cities from expanding their campgrounds exist? I’m sure it was done to protect the financial interests of the private campground owners. Is that any different than what Al is up to?

    There is a shortage of camping spots and honestly the east river private campgrounds I have looked at are not that great. Many give me the feeling of being in a parking lot. We need to look at what is best for all South Dakotans, not just a few business owners.

    To me cities or counties should be able to expand their campgrounds, with the requirement that the rent they charge for the newly created spots has to be 110% of what the SDGFP rents similar camping amenities for. That 110% is a starting point for discussion and could be greater.

  2. grudznick 2023-01-27 09:19

    Mr. Novstrup, the elder, is a wilie fellow indeed.

  3. Mark Anderson 2023-01-27 12:38

    If your going out and need to camp just send Al a couple of bucks. He’ll look the other way.

  4. All Mammal 2023-01-27 13:46

    In Crawford, NE you can camp for free along their town’s beautiful waterfront park. As long as you move every few days, you’re golden. Public lands belong to the public. Why should we have to pay to enjoy them? If people are treated like responsible humans, they act accordingly. Treat them like criminals… well, you will get sneaky law breakers. It is in the Tao Te Ching. When the legislature realizes that everyone always has to be somewhere, they will get over themselves.

    Once, I flipped out on the campers getting schnockered all day across the street from my house on Rapid Creek. I contemplated mimicking a terrible haunting by making up a burial ground scenario, I threatened and cussed them, I said things that were what I stand against, anything I could think of that didn’t involve getting the law involved in something I felt I could handle myself. I was so tired of the trash blowing around. Then, one day I twisted up a couple peace offerings, went over and shared a snort and explained we all wanted the same thing: we wanted the kids to walk to school feeling respected in a beautiful, CLEAN environment. That, and a severe thunderstorm washed away our contempt and we have gotten along famously since. Except for a few bad apples I am sure the women of the camp were relieved I ran off for them.

    It is way simpler to understand not everyone is the same as you and don’t adhere to the same cultural beliefs. Especially in SD. Many Natives and nomadic peoples don’t put emphasis on belongings. It is a beautiful thing and by embracing that, you will scavenge tons of cool stuff left behind. Just have something useful to lend indefinitely the next time you meet.

    The laws are surely inching closer towards making it a crime to be without a home. If public lands are no longer a safe harbor to loiter, we are no better than those we think of as unjust, primitive, and cruel.

  5. grudznick 2023-01-27 14:11

    Seems like garbage rummaging. Or maybe looting.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-27 16:39

    Well..I know the humble town of Woonsocket ( The Town with the Beautiful Lake) has been very popular with campers lately as they provide municipally supported, low cost, shaded campsites in and about the area of Lake Prior. Its been a nice addition to the State Campground at Twin Lakes which is about eight miles south and provides additional lodging during their popular Water Festival during the 4th of July.No complaints, as far as I know.

  7. All Mammal 2023-01-27 18:54

    Nobody wants to have homeless people building a tent city outside their front door. Instead of passing laws making it a crime to be down on your luck with no place to go- shouldn’t our legislature look at the mistakes made by other municipalities and work on making it possible to own a home in SD? According to SD Newswatch, home ownership in SD is dang near impossible. The mayor of Rapid City, Mayor Allender, boasts on the 5 o’clock news about the city spending $13 million a year studying how to combat homelessness. $13,000,000 spent without one home being built?! Strange way to fight homelessness. Ain’t no problem if you don’t start no problem. Most of the time no problem materializes if no problem starts by trying to prevent a problem. My advise, if you are homeless and are squatting-then keep a low profile. Ie: make your area cleaner than it was. And if you notice someone camping out, if they’re not hurting anything-leave them be. Vote for people who solve issues, not people who create issues. We might have to encounter refugees soon so help people out before it grows into a sanitation crisis.

  8. Phil 2023-01-29 08:47

    I vaguely remember the youthful good old days at Wylie, riding the bike all that way out of town, skiing and pup tent camping in the tree claims, fishing and skating on the lake, and dodging flying monkey dung at the “zoo.” Was never convinced the improvements were improvements, but the unwashed masses demand entertaining spectacles. Hopefully there will be plenty of mailboxes provided to accommodate the many future tax scofflaw SoDak “residents.”

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