The Scouting Report: A weekly digest
Winter hits, economic vitality, garbage for bears, the passing of a mentor
In the department of, “Well, that didn’t take long,” eastern South Dakota saw snowfall totals in early and mid-January that brought the region a lot closer to normal. On Jan. 7, Sioux Falls was nearly 16 inches below normal. Following rounds of snow that started Jan. 8, the region was only 3 inches below normal. Huron went from 9 inches below normal to 5, while the Sioux City area went from 5 inches below normal to more than 12 inches above normal.
While this is a favorable outcome for the region’s farmers, it came at the cost of school and business closures.
Nor did the storms have statewide effect. Aberdeen remained more than 12 inches below normal, Fort Meade 10 inches below normal and the Eureka area 17 inches below normal.
More snow is forecast for eastern South Dakota in the final two weeks of January.
South Dakota’s gross domestic product increased by 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the same quarter, personal income increased by 3 percent.
Nationally, every state saw an increase in real GDP, ranging from 9.7 percent in Kansas to .7 percent in Arkansas. While agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting decreased in 33 states, it increased in plains states, driving GDP growth in Kansas and Nebraska. That category was up slightly in South Dakota compared to the second quarter.
South Dakota’s 3 percent increase in personal income lagged behind Nebraska and Wyoming, but was higher than Montana, North Dakota and Iowa. Minnesota also grew at 3 percent. Alas, inflation grew at 3.4 percent in December.
BEA’s third quarter release also reflected a decrease in “transfer receipts,” or government assistance benefits.
“The decrease in transfer receipts was due to declines in Medicaid payments, other personal current transfer receipts, and state unemployment insurance compensation partially offset by increases in Medicare and social security payments,” BEA noted. “The percent change in transfer receipts ranged from 4.4 percent in New York to –7.0 percent in Rhode Island and New Mexico.”
Wildlife officials in California are urgently rebutting the claims made in flyers that have been distributed in the Lake Tahoe area. Those flyers have been encouraging people to let bears have access to garbage, rather than using bear-proof containers.
However, some wonder if the flyers were serious, and one area bear expert called the flyers a “sick joke.”
“The Black Bears of Lake Tahoe are some of the most marginalized and oppressed species of life, I have ever seen,” the flyer starts.
It goes on to criticize the “don’t feed the bears” campaign as something dreamed up by “lazy people” who were too lazy to clean up after themselves.