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BHNF seeks public input on future of Mitchell Lake Dam

Brent Duerre

The Black Hills National Forest is asking for public comment on the future of the Mitchell Lake Dam.

The dam, located just east of Hill City, is set to either be repaired or removed.

Park officials said the structure does not meet requirement to protect life and property downstream.

If removed, natural habitat would be restored, with the stream being designed to enhance recreational fishing and native wildlife.

If repaired, the dam would be shortened, and the spillways would be reconstructed. The overall lake size would remain the same.

The forest service is accepting public comment on the proposal through March 29. They are also hosting a public meeting on the project on March 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the community center in Hill City.

Ryan is the local host of "Morning Edition". Originally from Iowa, he first came to the Black Hills to study at SD Mines. After graduating in 2019, he was an educator in Arizona and North Dakota before returning to the Black Hills.