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GF&P to Spend $5.9M Just to Move Dirt for Rapid City Shooting Range

Game Fish and Parks is far short of its fundraising goals for its Rapid City shooting range, but it has issued a $5.9-million contract to move dirt on the Meade County property:

State records show that a contractor from western South Dakota submitted the lowest bid for the initial phase of mass grading at the shooting sport complex that the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks will be building near Rapid City.

Dakota Redi-Mix Inc., based in neighboring Black Hawk, offered to do the grading for $5,878,008. The company is owned by the McKillop family of Gillette, Wyoming. Other bids received were:

$7,800,000 from Zandstra Construction Inc., based in Rapid City;

$8,062,515 from Rounds Construction Co., based in Brookings; and

$12,483,296 from McGough Construction, a national firm with an office in Sioux Falls [Bob Mercer, “Capitol Notebook: Dakota Redi-Mix to Grade Range,” KELO-TV, 2023.09.12].

Good job, Dakota Redi-Mix, saving GF&P millions of dollars it doesn’t have for dirt work! But $5.9 million is more than half of the original projected cost and over a quarter of last spring’s estimate. GF&P had better hire a really good fundraiser… and start selling some naming rights!


  1. Mark B 2023-09-13 06:41

    I’m quite certain Noem will make this happen or die trying. All for just a backdrop for her final photo shoot as Governor to put in her ‘Grift’ portfolio.

  2. grudznick 2023-09-13 06:48

    That’s a lot of dirt being pushed around. All those whiners about this new facility being in their back yard probably didn’t take into account the fun they can have watching the big toys drive by and then push dirt around.

  3. e platypus onion 2023-09-13 09:23

    Goatzilla finally admits what us Libs always knew…magats are good at pushing dirt, especially against political enemies and POC.

  4. John 2023-09-13 09:25

    If the SD GFP were to spend a fraction of their internal effort and funds on wildlife and wildlife habitat then South Dakota would be a wildlife mecca instead of a near desert.

  5. Noem Nemesis 2023-09-13 13:06

    Damn, I wish I had been on top of GFP’s bidding process. I would have done the dirt phase of the project for $5,878,007. I only have a shovel, so it might have taken me a few years. But South Dakota shooters really don’t need another place to practice their skills. If they really want to kill something, all they really have to do is just get closer.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2023-09-13 19:22

    A good dozer man is apparently worth their weight in gold.

  7. Matthew k 2023-09-13 22:00

    You call me a whiner again I will use your nose for a dozer and bid some dirt work!!! I don’t come to the city to graze my cows so stay out of my backyard for your pleasure and my inconvenience!!!

  8. grudznick 2023-09-13 22:03

    Stop whining.

  9. leslie 2023-09-29 09:37

    GFP has become a 2A culture war to keep power in the declining GOP.

    a massive increase in AR-15 production and civilian ownership in subsequent years, would have profound consequences for the U.S., affecting how we vote, how we go to social events and how our children attend school. The arrival of private equity in the AR-15 market would turn a once-disdained product into one of the most controversial and well-known icons of America’s culture wars.

    By the end of the 2000s, the AR-15 had become a badge of honor for millions of supporters of the Second Amendment. As mass shootings with the rifle increased, it also became a symbol for millions of Americans who saw it as the epitome of violent dysfunction in a gun-obsessed America.

    Cultural and political shifts after the Sept. 11 attacks transformed the gun’s image. Veterans coming back from the wars wanted the civilian version of the M16. American consumers wanted to buy it too, because they saw the soldiers fighting in the Middle East carrying the weapon. The 2004 expiration of the federal assault-weapons ban—which had prohibited the sales of AR-15s on paper, though not in reality—and the passage of legislation to protect gunmakers from lawsuits combined to create a perfect environment for large gunmakers to manufacture, market and sell large quantities of AR-15s….industry executives worried that these older hobbyists were tapped out and believed they needed to market to a new generation of consumers. Freedom Group launched an ad campaign in the glossy pages of Maxim, a magazine popular with young men featuring scantily-clad female models. The ads featured an image of the XM-15 and the words “Consider Your Man Card Reissued.”

    Sales of Bushmaster rifles soared.

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