June 18th, 2011

VHA Cancels Annual Jamboree Due to Missouri River Flooding

The Varmint Hunters Association has officially cancelled the 2011 VHA Jamboree, originally scheduled for July 25-29, 2011 in Pierre, South Dakota. The 2011 Jamboree was cancelled due to flooding in the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas — a major problem that may not be resolved until August. Unfortunately, previously paid 2011 Jamboree registration fees are non-refundable, but 2011 paid-up registrants will get a credit for the 2012 event. In a statement issued last week, Jeff Rheborg (VHA CEO-Club President) explained why the VHA determined to cancel the Jamboree this year:

To all VHA Members and Supporters:

With a heavy mind and heart we regret to inform you that we will not be hosting the 2011 Annual Jamboree. Some of you may already know and some might not have yet heard; the communities of Pierre and Fort Pierre are currently undergoing a flood. Each city has a levee system running parallel to the Missouri River, with some even running through the middle of town. Water currently being released from Lake Oahe is at 150,000 cubic feet per second. It is projected to stay at that level through mid August. To make it easier to visualize… if you were eating supper at the Pizza Ranch and looking out the window, if the levee was not there, all you would see is water. It is that high.

We did not reach this decision lightly. We took into account information we have received from local, state and national authorities as well as a long list of variables such as: electricity availability, water lines that may be affected, and the hundreds of evacuees that are being housed in area hotels. While we value the opportunity our annual Jamboree has to bring in visitors and thus revenue for area businesses in a time of need, we also cannot guarantee the ability of those businesses, such as downstream campgrounds, (which are all currently under water), restaurants and hotels to be able to accommodate people. We can tell you with great assurance; we will not put the safety of our members and their families at risk on the basis of “the levee should hold.”

As in years past our policy has been Jamboree registrations are non-refundable. Due to the current circumstances, which we have no control over, all participants who have already signed up for Jamboree 2011 will be given credit for Jamboree 2012. Credit is for Jamboree use only and cannot be transferred to another event or applied towards membership dues.

Thanks again for your continued support throughout the years. Plans are already being made for Jamboree 2012.

Jeff Rheborg, CEO, Varmint Hunters Assn.

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