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PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2018 


Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Support Growing For West River Wilderness Area

March 16, 2010

PIERRE, S.D. - There's growing support in South Dakota for more wilderness designations in the West River region, the large part of the state lying to the west of the Missouri River. The support is shown in a study by Moore Information, which found solid favor across party lines, and among all age groups. When asked specifically about a proposal to designate parts of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland in southwestern South Dakota as wilderness, nearly six in ten voters supported the idea.

Chris Hesla, executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation, says that area deserves protection.

"Well, there's very few places left in this world untouched by man, and those few acres down there are still relatively untouched."

The land would be open to the public and for use by ranchers, but motorized vehicles would not be allowed in the area. Hesla says the proposed wilderness area is not that big, but is very important.

"It's about 55,000 acres, which is actually less than two percent of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. So it isn't a huge allotment of land, but it is land that's used today by a lot of people, hiking and that and grazing. The one thing if we do get a wilderness designation is that it will support and make sure that ranchers continue to graze the land as they are now."

The survey of more than 600 voters in the West River region of South Dakota was conducted in early January.

The Buffalo Gap National Grasslands is almost 600,000 acres of native grasses in southwest South Dakota.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD