National Guard Annual Operation Golden Coyote Exercise at Belle Fourche Reservoir

Media Contact: Jay Leasure, (605) 394-9757 ext. 3011

For Release: June 06, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Reclamation and the South Dakota Army National Guard are in year four of a five year agreement permitting the Guard access to Reclamation lands at Belle Fourche Reservoir to conduct Operation Golden Coyote. This is a military training exercise and runs from June 10 through June 24.

"Soldiers will again camp in Reclamation's Fruitdale Recreation Area on the north side of South Dakota Highway 212," said Jay Leasure, Natural Resources Specialist for Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office. "Troop training will be conducted between North Canal and the Off Road Vehicle Area."

Approximately 200 soldiers will be performing dry span bridging and improved ribbon ridge training activities on Reclamation lands at Belle Fourche Reservoir as part of the 2017 exercise.

"As there will be heavy equipment, military vehicles, and hundreds of soldiers in the area, certain places around the reservoir will be closed to the public," said Leasure.

Areas closed to the public include:

  • The troop training area between North Canal and the off road vehicle area will be signed and off limits to public activities. All roads in the area will remain open to the public.
  • The troop training area near the CCC/POW site will be signed and off limits to public activities. All public traffic will be restricted during training.
  • The public is asked to respect the soldier encampment area and stay away from military equipment and vehicles. Please note that all roads in this area will remain open to the public, but soldiers may operate a check station near the encampment area which may be an inconvenience to the public.

"Vehicle and foot traffic will not be allowed inside the closed areas during training activities. There will be signs notifying the public of area closures," said Leasure. "Please respect their training time and keep a safe distance. This partnership is beneficial to all user groups and really enhances the public's access and enjoyment of Reclamation lands."

For more information please contact Jay Leasure at 605-394-9757 ext. 3011, or

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Dakotas Area Office Home Page