Reclamation Notifies Public of Off Road Vehicle and Camping Rules at Belle Fourche Reservoir

Media Contact: Patience Hurley, (701) 221-1204, phurley@usbr.gov
Jay Leasure, (605) 394-9757, jleasure@usbr.gov

For Release: May 25, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation reminds the public of Off Road Vehicle Use (ORV) and Camping rules at Belle Fourche Reservoir.

"For now, ATV's, side-by-sides and dirt bikes are allowed at Belle Fourche Reservoir; outside of Rocky Point State Recreation Area, but all vehicles must remain on designated roads, must be licensed and all drivers must be licensed," said Jay Leasure, Natural Resource Specialist, DKAO.

There is also a designated ORV use area north of Belle Fourche Dam where only ORV's are allowed.

"ORV use is not allowed on reservoir shorelines," said Leasure. "Any use of ORV's off designated roads or outside the designated ORV area is illegal and subject to a ticket and up to a $135 fine."

ORV use has dramatically increased at Belle Fourche Reservoir. Reclamation is committed to eliminating illegal ORV use for all the obvious reasons; including natural, cultural and paleontological resource damage, fire hazards, and personal safety.

Reclamation is aware of at least two major accidents in the last year and it is unknown how many accidents go unreported. There are many unseen hazards that exist off road that are hidden by tall grass. Law enforcement efforts to curb this use will increase this summer in hopes of eliminating this type of use. Reclamation has multiple information kiosks placed throughout the reservoir with maps and brochures showing designated roads. The public is urged to reference those maps for designated roads. If ORV use continues, Reclamation will be forced to ban all ATV's, side-by-sides, and dirt bikes from Belle Fourche Reservoir in the future.

Campers are reminded of existing rules and regulations for Belle Fourche Reservoir:

  • Camping is permitted only in developed or primitive recreation areas.
  • Camping in Reclamation managed Wildlife Management Area is not allowed.
  • Campsites must be occupied a minimum of 8 hours within a 24 hour period.
  • Campsites may not be reserved by leaving equipment at the site.
  • Camping is restricted to no more than 14 days during 30 consecutive days.

Outside of Rocky Point, Reclamation directly manages the rest of Belle Fourche Reservoir without a managing partner. Camping, day use, and other recreational activities are allowed free of charge to the public. Reclamation does not designate campsites. The public is allowed to camp immediately off of designated roads but must refrain from creating roads and trails to reach a desired camp spot.

For more information on Belle Fourche Reservoir, call the Bureau of Reclamation at 605-394-9757. For questions related to Rocky Point Recreation Area call at 605-641-0023.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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