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Black Hills Pioneer: The (volunteer) heart of the hatchery

From the writers at Black Hills Pioneer.

The D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives in Spearfish receives more than 14,000 volunteer hours annually — valued at $250,000 — and having its staff reduced to one employee in the face of federal hatchery closure threats that began in 2012 makes the extra help even more vital.

“No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it, good volunteers are what make places like D.C. Booth possible,” Carlos Martinez, hatchery director, said.

The hatchery’s Visiting Volunteer Program has been in place for at least 25 years, allowing couples and the occasional individual to stay in Spearfish from April through October, volunteering 15-24 hours per week per person in exchange for a premium RV site in Spearfish City Campground with full hookups, cable TV, and high-speed wireless internet. The volunteers generally work three days on, three days off, with five-to six-hour shifts primarily working in the gift shop, giving tours of the Booth House, or manning the museum and restored fisheries railcar.

To read the full story in The Black Hills Pioneer, click here.

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