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South Dakota Field Office
Release Date: 09/30/11
Contacts: Mark Jacobsen 406-232-2831    

Public Lands Day Draws Volunteers to Fort Meade

BLM staff from the South Dakota Field Office in Belle Fourche and local volunteers installed a wildlife water guzzler in the Fort Meade Recreation Area near Sturgis as part of National Public Lands Day Sept. 24.

volunteers installing a guzzler
BLM Fire Management Specialist Ryan Larson supervised the activities and directed the work which included harnessing the combined power of attending BLMers, family, friends and Girl Scouts from Belle Fourche Troop 72608.

The group leveled an excavated hole, inserted the guzzler, re-leveled the tank and replaced the soil accordingly. A wildlife-friendly fence was also erected to protect the green fiberglass contraption from livestock damage.

The guzzler has a water capacity of 750 gallons. The circular, slightly-domed 8-foot diameter top of the tank provides 50.26 square feet of surface area on which to collect water. One inch of rain can equal 35 gallons of water added to the reservoir to be used by local wildlife.

Precipitation collected on the guzzler surface runs down to the recessed rim where the water enters the tank through drain holes. The convex nature of the tank top also aids in recapturing evaporation on hot days. The water is accessed by a gradually-tapered trough coated with a non-skid finish and fed by a concealed water pipe from the underside of the tank.

Providing additional water sources will augment wildlife habitat on Fort Meade and provide additional incentive for the many recreationists who utilize this popular area administered by the BLM.

To commemorate this year’s national efforts President Barack Obama signed a proclamation in behalf of this nation-wide work day. In the letter, the President said “...thousands of dedicated volunteers will continue a proud American tradition by conserving and restoring our public lands with local projects across our Nation.”

An estimated 180,000 volunteers at more than 2,000 project sites across the country were expected to participate in NPLD events, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the U.S.

For more information about volunteering on public land projects contact the BLM South Dakota Field Office at (605) 892-7000.  More NPLD information is also available on the web at:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

South Dakota Field Office   310 Roundup Street      Belle Fourche, SD 57717  

Last updated: 06-28-2012