SD Senate gives green light to state mascot billPIERRE (AP) — South Dakota could soon have another state symbol to join the ranks of state bread, state soil, state sport and even state grass.
By: VERONICA ZARAGOVIA, The Associated Press
PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota could soon have another state symbol to join the ranks of state bread, state soil, state sport and even state grass.
If Sen. Tom Nelson's "buffalo bill" makes progress in the House, the American buffalo could become South Dakota's state mascot.
Nelson, a Republican from Lead, said he wants to bestow upon the buffalo the "status it deserves," especially since the coyote has been the state animal since 1949.
Nelson reminded fellow senators about the privileged role bison play in the state. He cited South Dakota's annual Buffalo Roundup each fall, when at least 1,000 bison get brought into corrals in Custer, the animal's significance to Native Americans and the name of the town in the state's northwest.
Plus, he added, he has never seen "coyote wings" at a South Dakota restaurant.
Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, joked that the state's mascot is actually the jackrabbit, alluding to the mascot of his alma mater, South Dakota State University.
Senators laughed especially loudly after Sen. Todd Schlekeway, R-Sioux Falls, said if re-elected, he would introduce a bill next year designating the walleye as the state fish, only to learn it has had that distinction since 1982.
The Senate passed the bill 25-10. It goes next to the House for a vote.