South Dakota Forest Officials Re-Examine Verbal Comment Ban

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board in South Dakota is re-examining its move to ban public comments at meetings due to criticism of the planned change.

Public comments of up to three minutes each are typically allowed at the monthly board meeting if there is time near the end. But the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting at the Mystic Ranger District office says comments should be written and provided to the board’s coordinator before the meeting.

Board Chairman Bob Burns says the agenda language is a result of some public comments that extended beyond the time limit in recent meetings. He says the board will likely discuss the verbal ban.

One meeting attendee says the change would amount to censorship.

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