Located just miles from Badlands National Park in South Dakota is the Pinnacles area. This is a hidden gem ideal for dispersed recreation and dispersed camping. The easy accessibility has made this area a popular destination for those who want a pristine and gorgeous camping spot away from the hustle and bustle of the national park.

The problems have come from users being forced to use as the Forest Service states, “a relatively concentrated area”. Many of the proposed “solutions” are restrictive management practices such as implementing a reservation system, restricting off-road travel and limiting the number of dispersed camping spots. The USFS should at least consider allowing more areas to be used for dispersed camping in order to alleviate some of the burden on this concentrated area. Through the current proposal, only 70 designated campsites would be allowed. We are still waiting on getting current data to show that is the average number of campsites through the peak seasons as the Forest Service suggests. The plan proposal also states, “An increase [in campsites] may occur due to increased public demand for additional sites.” It sounds as if there is already an increased public demand if there are current overuse issues. BRC believes many of the concerns the Forest Service is looking to address can be solved with better management, rather than closures. Better signs, education and road management can alleviate issues while still allowing access for dispersed camping.

You can see the Forest Service public meeting presentation here.

Please add your voice to ours and submit a comment using the action alert below and let the Forest Service know, dispersed camping is an important part of accessing and enjoying public lands. Comments are due on June 13, 2022.

Cover Image photo credit: Instagram user, @BlackHillsBuilds