Booth Society receives sizable grant for land acquisition campaign

Booth Society board members announce the total amount raised to date for the Land Acquisition Project is $554,000. A balance of $88,000 is needed to complete the fundraising effort. Pictured from left, Jeff Drumm, Nancy Cole, Brett Ewald, Alissa Adams, Warren Satterlee, Aleisha Huppler, Howard Berenstein, Karen Holzer, Steve Shuck, Tyler Hemmingson, Cheryl Johnson, Rae Ann Mettler, Andree Bisson, Dillon Haug, and Mike Tripp. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH — The Booth Society Inc. has received a grant for $172,597 in support of its recent acquisition of 64.62 acres of vacant land adjoining the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. The funds were via the Homestake Mining Company Natural Resource Restoration Fund (HMC-NRRF).

A team of representatives from South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviewed the Booth Society’s application utilizing an evaluation process of sixteen weighted criteria. The resulting high score led the team to recommend awarding the grant. Subsequently authorizing officials Kelly Hepler, secretary of the SDGFP, and Noreen Walsh from the U.S. Department of Interior both approved releasing the funds to support the project.

One of the HMC-NRRF Fund’s most stringent requirements for funding is that the public will benefit. Acquiring the land will protect the hatchery groundwater supply which is important for fish cultural purposes, and will prevent houses from overlooking and ruining the aesthetics of the historic property and popular tourist attraction. In addition, the Society has a variety of conceptual ideas for in-perpetuity public benefits that involve expanding existing visitor and youth education opportunities at the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery. A management plan for the property will be developed at a later date.  

The grant brings the total amount raised for the project to $554,000. “The mercury in our fundraising thermometer has climbed,” said Karen Holzer, executive director at the Booth Society. “This grant along with generous donations from a variety of donors brings the total amount left to fundraise at approximately $88,000. It is fantastic to have the support of the community as we continue with this project. The donations we have received, along with this grant money, provides us with about 86% of our fundraising goal.”  

The Booth Society purchased the land in July 2019 and kicked off their capital campaign fundraising effort to raise $642,500 in August.

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