The South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Commission recently voted to continue Governor Kristi Noem’s “Let’s Pay Children to Mutilate Small Animals” program, despite overwhelming public opposition. In response to criticism that the program was implemented without studies on its overall impact on the affected species, we were told not to worry, that the effect would be negligible on overall numbers. Huh? Having just admitted the program has no practical purpose, the reasoning shifted to “getting kids outdoors”. Again, huh? If that is the true purpose of the program, there are much more positive ways to achieve that goal. How about having GF&P take those public dollars and work with school districts to have children develop and restore habitat, plant native trees, shrubs, and grasses, and improve water resources to the benefit of all species (including humans)? Not only is this a much healthier lesson to teach our young people, it also presents a much better face to the nation than Kristi’s cockeyed campaign of taxpayer funded animal abuse.
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