Bill provides South Dakota campground owners immunity from acts of nature

March 8, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A bill that provides immunity for campground owners whose guests encounter the inherent risks of outdoor camping is headed for the governor’s desk.

Both chambers of the South Dakota Legislature have approved the bill that cuts the risk of lawsuits for campground owners who say they’ve been sued for acts of nature beyond their control, such as bee stings and mosquito bites.

The owners say the coronavirus pandemic and the South Dakota’s open invitation to visit have resulted in an influx of novice campers who don’t understand the unpredictability of nature.

The legislation has a long list of inherent risks, including trees and tree stumps, uneven terrain, weather, wild animals, roots, rocks, mud, sand, and the absence of street lights.