Spearfish Canyon

Seth Tupper / SDPB

Lawrence County commissioners unanimously rejected a permit Tuesday for a gold mine near the rim of Spearfish Canyon.

Commissioner Brandon Flanagan said there are too many unknowns with the project, and although he supports mining, he could not approve the application.

“Normally, we get conditional-use permits and a lot of the detail is in there, as they’re supposed to be," Flanagan said. "In this one it’s a lot of just, ‘Permit what we’ve already got, and we’ll figure out the rest as we go.’ I’ve got a problem with that on a lot of levels.”

Seth Tupper / SDPB

A county board is recommending denial of a permit to mine for gold near Spearfish Canyon.

The company applying for the conditional-use permit is VMC LLC. The Deadwood Standard mine site is on a plateau above Spearfish Canyon, just back from the eastern rim near Savoy.

The company wants to blast and dig 14 pits, each ranging from a half-acre to 5 acres across, and as deep as 70 feet. The company would mine sequentially, backfilling and reclaiming one pit while mining the next.


In The Moment ... September 19, 2019 Show 661 Hour 2

Perhaps nowhere in South Dakota do people anticipate fall foliage more than Spearfish Canyon. As we watch the autumn palette reveal its wonders, we welcome Jerry Boyer to today's program for an update on the colors in the canyon. 


In The Moment ... September 28, 2017 Show 187 Hour 1

It's time for the turning of the colors in South Dakota, and if you find yourself anywhere near Spearfish Canyon, it's precisely what people are talking about. SDPB's Kevin Woster is with us today. His blog is called On the Other Hand. You can find it at SDPB.org/Woster.


In The Moment ...  April 10, 2017 Show 068 Hour 1

Katie Ceroll is the South Dakota Game Fish and Park division director for parks. The agency has announced a “pause” in the conversations about land exchanges in the state (Spearfish Canyon / Bismark Lake). Ceroll discusses how public input influenced the decision and what comes next in the collaborative conversation.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Due to a budget shortfall, the proposed Spearfish Canyon land transfer is on hold.

The legislature adopted revenues that were $25 million shorter than previously projected.

That’s mostly due to lagging state sales tax revenue.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says the public input sessions will continue. He says even if they’re only about land the state already owns.


Governor Dennis Daugaard indicates there might not be enough state funds to execute a land swap with the federal government over Little Spearfish Canyon.
Daugaard says the state has to first fill a budget shortfall, unless revenues pick up.
Governor Daugaaard says the state has to focus on funding a revenue shortfall before considering financing the land swap.

In The Moment ... January 31 2017 Show 020 Hour 1

Guests: Mark Sternhagen, author of a book about his life with polio, Normal For Me; SDPB's Lee Strubinger, Spearfish Canyon; Hugh Weber, The Potluck Society blog; SDPB's Kealey Bultena, college choice

Spearfish Canyon Land Swap Proposal Only The Beginning

Jan 31, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The first of four public input sessions was held last week regarding a land transfer between the state of South Dakota and federal government.

On the table is a similar amount of grassland acreage for an area of Little Spearfish Canyon. Governor Dennis Daugaard says he’d like to see a state park. Critics of the land swap want to see the land stay in the hands of the National Park Service.

I’m walking along the Roughlock Falls Hiking Trail with my friend Marcel. The trail winds along Little Spearfish Creek from the dam near Savoy and on back.

Early Snow Could Prolong Spearfish Canyon Colors

Sep 12, 2016
Jerry Boyer

Spearfish Canyon is considered among the best places in the state to view fall colors.  

One man who tracks the color change each year says the Canyon is now at about 40% of its peak range. But the National Weather Service has forecast snow for upper elevations of the Black Hills September 13.

Part Of Spearfish Canyon Closer To Becoming State Park

Jul 18, 2016

South Dakota’s congressional delegation is backing legislation to create a state park in the center of Spearfish Canyon.  The proposed park includes federal and non-federal land near Roughlock Falls and the town of Savoy.