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Connecting Agriculture: Solutions to Nonmeandered Water
By: Mike Jaspers, Secretary of Agriculture - 06/19/2017

Growing up in northeast South Dakota, I've witnessed the struggle over the non-meandered water issue first hand. Over the past 20 years, I've looked at it from the viewpoint of a landowner, a legislator and now as the Secretary of Agriculture. While it certainly can be a contentious issue, there are a few things I think everyone involved can agree on: first, this has been a problem for far too long; second, there are passionate people on both sides of the issue with valid concerns.

I was glad to see the state legislature's efforts which resulted in the passage of House Bill 1001. This legislation, which was signed by Governor Daugaard on June 12, will not make everyone happy. I've heard sportsmen share concerns about certain bodies of water being closed off. I've also heard from landowners who feel it will be too burdensome to restrict the use of water overlying their property. While it may not be ideal for everyone, it's important to remember in a situation as complex and emotional as the nonmeandered water issue, there is no easy solution. I am thankful our state legislators answered the call to address this issue quickly and worked hard to come up with a solution that I truly hope will work for everyone.

House Bill 1001 provides landowners, small business owners, hunters and anglers certainty moving forward. While there will still be challenges, now my family and friends in the northeast have the clarity they need on this longstanding matter. I'm proud to see South Dakotans tackle the challenge head on and come up with a solution that is best for every citizen of our great state.

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