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Governor Offers To Fund Wind Cave Campground

Governor Dennis Daugaard is offering state money to run a federal campground.    The move comes after officials at Wind Cave announced the Elk Mountain Campground would close this summer due to the budget sequester. 

Park officials say over 65-hundred visitors used the campground in 2011.   Tony Venhuizen  with the Governor’s office says the State Game Fish and Parks runs other campgrounds in the area at a profit. Venhuizen says closing a campground to save money is a move that doesn’t make any sense.

“It’s certainly hard to understand why in order to save money the federal government would choose to close a campground that as best we can tell actually makes a small profit.  The federal government shouldn’t expect to save a dime by closing this campground because the camping fees pay for the operation of the campground,” says Venhuizen.

Venhuizen says he hopes the Parks Service takes up the governor on his offer or reconsiders the decision to close the campground.    Officials at Regional Park Service office say they can’t comment at this time.   However, they do say that last year the campground brought in $46-thousand in revenue and cost $47-thousand to operate.

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