Black Hills

Seth Tupper / SDPB

A citizen panel wants Black Hills National Forest officials to write a new master plan.

The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board unanimously approved the recommendation Wednesday. Drafting a new forest plan would require several years of research and public engagement.

Board member Greg Josten, who serves as South Dakota's state forester, hopes the Forest Service’s national office will ease the financial burden.

Seth Tupper / SDPB

Scattered around the Black Hills, tucked away in the forests and meadows, there’s a curiosity: privately owned vacation cabins on public land.

One of the oldest is the Durst cabin. A logging family built the cabin in a meadow along Flynn Creek around 1911.

Eight years later, Custer State Park was born. Its boundaries soon wrapped around the vintage cabin, with its dark wood walls, screened-in porch and outhouse. Today, the cabin still stands within the park.

South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources

The owner of the only active, large-scale gold mine in South Dakota has to post millions more in bond money.

The Wharf Mine is near Lead, in the northern Black Hills. Coeur Mining is the Chicago-based company that runs the mine.

South Dakota requires Coeur to post bonds. That's in case the company ever goes bankrupt. If that happens, the state could use the bond money to clean up the mine.

The amount of the bonds is $64 million. But the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it's reviewed the amount, and it’s too low.


In The Moment … July 24, 2020 Show 866 Hour 1

Due to COVID-19, the Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills has had to make some changes this summer. Beginning tonight, you'll be able to watch the Festival's "Greatest Hits" in a series of concerts on Facebook. Joining us with details and news of other events is executive director Michael Hill. Good Morning, Michael. Artistic Director Dawn Marie Edwards is also with us. For more information click here


Seth Tupper / SDPB

A work group in the Black Hills is doing some math that could influence the long-term health of the Black Hills National Forest and its timber industry. 

The Timber Sustainability Work Group consists of six members from the 32-member Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board. 

SDPB News: July 2

Jul 2, 2020

Where is the money coming from to fund the fireworks display at Mount Rushmore? This and more in today’s SDPB News Podcast. Find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify today. 

Environmental Risks Of Fireworks

Jun 30, 2020

In The Moment ... June 30, 2020 Show 849 Hour 2

We're just days out from the 4th of July fireworks display and President Donald Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore. SDPB's Seth Tupper has been covering the environmental and wildfire risks of the fireworks.

Tupper joins In The Moment from the Black Hills Surgical Hospital Studio as we continue to learn about the size of the expanded events this week in the Black Hills.


In The Moment ... June 30, 2020 Show 849 Hour 1

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson has introduced legislation to protect Mount Rushmore from alteration. The proposal comes just before President Donald Trump comes to the Black Hills for a large fireworks display at the monument - and while some Americans are reconsidering our country's founding and expansion.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is considered a shrine to American democracy, a top vacation destination, and, to some, a desecration of a sacred mountain.

Credit Josh Hoffman / Black Hills National Forest

Forecasts show an increased risk of wildfires in western South Dakota in the next few weeks after two of the wettest years in state history.

Darren Clabo is the state’s Fire Meteorologist. He says the past two seasons were very wet with minimal fires.  

South Dakota Fire Meteorologist's Wildfire Concerns

Jun 29, 2020

In The Moment … June 29, 2020 Show 848 Hour 1

A relatively calm 2018 and 2019 has some South Dakotans less aware of the risk of wildfires in the Black Hills and the western part of the state. As we head into a hot July, what's the wildfire outlook? Today we welcome Darren Clabo, Ph.D., to the program. Darren is a research scientist at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the state's fire meteorologist.  

On The Other Hand: Presidents Visiting South Dakota

Jun 25, 2020

In The Moment … June 25, 2020 Show 846 Hour 1

As South Dakota prepares for fireworks over Mount Rushmore and a presidential visit, SDPB's Kevin Woster looks back at a previous presidential visit and the challenges of traffic and crowds in the Black Hills.  You can find Kevin's work on our website. 

Mineral Mountain Resources

A Black Hills group that advocates for clean water is suing the Forest Service

The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance wants information on exploratory gold drilling. The alliance filed a Freedom of Information Act request two years ago in 2018.  

Black Hills National Forest

The Black Hills timber industry is either logging itself to death, or logging sustainably.  

Both conclusions have been reached by opposing sides reading the same report.  

The report, written by Forest Service researchers, says there aren’t enough ponderosa pine trees in the forest to sustain current logging.  

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation connects people who care to causes that matter. The Foundation seeks to inspire people to invest as a community to improve the quality of life of the people living in the Black Hills area.  That's why, on this #GivingTuesdayNow, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation is behind two Coronavirus Response Funds that will help serve the community during this pandemic. With more information on the response funds, we welcome Liz Hamburg, executive director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. Thanks for being available for our program, Liz.

Images of the Past: Fred Farrar

Apr 20, 2020
Mark Slocum

In The Moment ... April 20, 2020 Show 799 Hour 2

The history and pictures of western South Dakota run deep. Fred Farrar captured the Black Hills from the turn of the century through the depression of the 1930s. As a young boy, Fred's mother read him "Last of the Mohican's" which ended up being a major influence on him when it came to nature and Native American culture. For today's Images of the Past, Mark Slocum tells us more of this pioneer. Mark is the executive director of the Minnilusa Historical Association and Pioneer Collection in Rapid City.


Seth Tupper/SDPB

New Forest Service research says the Black Hills National Forest could be depleted of trees suitable for logging in the next 30 years. 

Forestry Segment

Apr 2, 2020

In The Moment ... April 2, 2020 Show 787 Hour 2 Is the health of the Black Hills National Forest at a crossroads? Is the amount of timber being forested today sustainable in the wake of the pine beetle epidemic? What data do we have that helps us predict the future of the forest? Tomorrow the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region hosts a formal stakeholder meeting and discussion to review data projections. SDPB's Seth Tupper will cover the meeting.

Moment In Sound: Heath Johnson

Feb 28, 2020

In The Moment ... February 28, 2020 Show 763 Hour 1

Heath Johnson is an Americana Country songwriter from Spearfish, SD. He organizes the South Dakota Songwriters group and activities around the Black Hills area and puts together songwriters rounds for other local artists. His musical influences range from classic country, to modern Americana, folk, and red dirt music.

Heath recently joined us for a performance and that performance is this week’s Moment In Sound.

Love In America

Feb 25, 2020

In The Moment ... February 25, 2020 Show 760 Hour 2

In November, we got to meet Scotte and Toni Burns, the Black Hills couple that seeks out unique, fun, and powerful stories for their video series Love in America. Today, we're going to get an insider's look at how their show comes together. How do they know when they have a great candidate for an interview? Where do they do to find people with compelling stories? 

Images Of The Past: Planes, Trains, & Motorcycles

Feb 24, 2020

In The Moment ... February 24, 2020 Show 759 Hour 2 From the foot-trails of indigenous people to the rumbling pipes of the Sturgis motorcycle rally, South Dakota has been home to a vast array of transportation developments. An exhibit at the Journey Museum and Learning Center in Rapid City explores the "Planes, Trains, and Motorcycles", and how they have transformed the Black Hills.  For today's Images of the Past, we're joined by the Journey Museum's Corey Christianson. 

Black Hills Film Festival

Feb 21, 2020

In The Moment ... February 21, 2020 Show 758 Hour 1

The Black Hills Film Festival is underway. Films are featured in Hot Springs, Hill City, Spearfish and Rapid City. Screenings continue through next Tuesday.  Chris Van Ness is the executive director of the Festival, and she joins us  to go over some of the highlights and help you prepare for the annual event that brings fans of cinema together. 

Learn about the festival by clicking here.

Bison Escape Again From Black Hills Pasture

Jan 10, 2020

  Some bison have escaped again from their mountain-meadow enclosure in the Black Hills. 

Paul Shackow

In The Moment ... January 8, 2019 Show 729 Hour 2

Profit for good! Historian Eric Abrahamson joins us to detail philanthropy's role in economic development and how things are changing in the digital world. Abrahamson is an author and the president of Vantage Point Historical Services. 

Suicide Prevention Grant To Incorporate Native Culture

Aug 19, 2019
SD Department of Health

A suicide prevention grant is targeting Native Communities in the Black Hills. The Garrett Lee Smith grant awards more than three million dollars over five years. Recipients plan to work against suicides in Native youth by training local police departments, schools and healthcare facilities. 


The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board is focusing prevention tactics for Native youth between ten and 24 years old. Charles Sitting Bull is the Director of Behavioral Health. He says as a population, Native youth are at high risk for suicide. 

In the Moment Black Hills Special: July 5-12

Jul 12, 2019

Stan Adelstein explains how being Jewish shaped him. Whitney Rencountre talks about how his grandfather, and Native culture more broadly, shaped him. Sam Hurst, Kevin Woster, and Linda Hasselstrom discuss about the value of the region. We hear music from the Black Hills Chamber Music Society, The Lark and the Loon, and Tiffany Johnson. Dr. Rachel Headley and Meg Manke talk building a better workplace. Rick Kahler explains financial therapy.  


Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... July 2, 2019 Show 608 Hour 2

It's time to play tourist in your own state! John and Alana Snyder of 605 Magazine roll out the July issue which features outdoor destinations in South Dakota.

In The Moment ... March 28, 2019 Show 545 Hour 2

How are the Black Hills area preparing for the arrival of the B-21's? SDPB's Lee Strubinger is with us from the Rapid City studio.

In The Moment ... November 6, 2018 Show 455 Hour 1

How has the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota changed? Physically, yes but also the politics and laws surrounding it have changed too.

Bill Coburn is a forestry consultant. November 8th at noon, his speaking engagment is called "The Black Hills Forest: 1874 - 1908." This takes place at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood.

Modern Gold Exploration In The Black Hills

Oct 18, 2018

In The Moment ... October 18. 2018 Show 444 Hour 2

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources is granting a third temporary water use permit for gold exploration in the Black Hills.

It allows a Canadian company to pull water from Rapid Creek, west of Rapid City until the end of the year.

Even though it's an early stage in the process, the mining exploration in the Black Hills shows potential.

1881 Courthouse Museum

In The Moment ... September 10, 2018 Show 418 Hour 2

Images of the Past returns to In the Moment.

There is no symbol of the past comparable to the stagecoach. This transportation method became essential in the 1800s, especially in the Black Hills area. The stagecoach era left a mark in almost every town and village during the “gold rush” of the Black Hills

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer, joined In The Moment for a look back at stagecoaches in South Dakota.