South Dakota Stockgrowers support water legislation without amendment

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association
Farm Forum

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors recently voted to continue support for the bill granting landowners the right to limit access to their private property. They did not endorse the amendment which bars private landowners from charging for access to water on private lands.

In a letter sent to Legislators this week, South Dakota Stockgrowers President Bill Kluck said, “South Dakota Stockgrowers Association testified in support of the original “Recreation and Respect Compromise” as it was presented to the summer study committee on June 2. The bill “…supports landowner rights, and grants access to public water and to certain historic lakes overlying private property while otherwise respecting the rights of landowners to limit access across their private lands, if they so choose.”

“We continue to support the landowners and feel that was a good compromise that doesn’t give away too much in terms of private property rights,” explained Kluck.

Kluck said South Dakota Stockgrowers was willing to sign on to the compromise which will work for both landowners and those who want to access those waters for sport or recreation. “We anticipate that respectful sportsmen and women will have no problem obtaining reasonable access to those areas from a large number of affected landowners.”

However, the SDSGA Board of Directors opposed the amendment to bar private landowners from charging for access to their private lands, believing it went a step too far in stripping private property rights. “As the legislature accepts the initial proposed legislation to give private landowners the right to limit access, they should also accept the right of those landowners to grant access over their private property as they deem fit.”

“We hold private property rights as inalienable and supreme,” said Kluck. “We urge the South Dakota Legislature to pass the original compromise bill and remove the June 2nd amendment of Section 6.”