Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in South Dakota

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in South Dakota uses a “grass roots” philosophy to develop partnerships and programs that simultaneously promote wildlife conservation and profitable agriculture.

The South Dakota Partners Program has utilized this philosophy to voluntarily restore, enhance, and establish tens of thousands of acres of grassland and wetland habitats with landowners throughout the state. A common thread through every South Dakota Partners project is the ability to be flexible and responsive enough to accommodate the site-specific needs and concerns of landowners. Since 1991, this approach has resulted in approximately 7,000 South Dakota landowners becoming valued Partners for Fish and Wildlife partners, and the number of new landowner requests for assistance continues to grow.

The four most common conservation practices implemented by the South Dakota PFW program include:

  • wetland restoration
    Wetland restorations primarily consist of closing drainage ditches with earthen plugs.
  • grassland enhancement
    Grassland enhancement via managed grazing systems are predominately implemented in native grassland tracts containing wetlands. Four cell, twice-over grazing systems are one of the more common grazing configurations. In these systems, grazing units are split into four pastures and each pasture is grazed twice through the course of the grazing season.
  • grassland restoration
    Grassland restoration primarily involves seeding of cropland back to a mixture of native grasses and forbs. Typically, 10 to 15 species of native grasses and forbs are used in the seed mix. Once the grassland is fully restored, these sites often are utilized as pasture.
  • riparian enhancement
    Riparian enhancement projects typically involve fencing of streams or riparian areas to exclude livestock during key portions of the growing season.  Alternative livestock watering sources such as pipelines, tanks and solar panels are often installed in conjunction with the riparian exclusions.

We work with a wide variety of partners to implement high priority wetland and grassland conservation projects. Partnerships with livestock owners to conserve grasslands are particularly important. This priority scheme is consistent with and fulfills the implementation priorities of a wide variety of established conservation plans including the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Implementation Pan, and Partners in Flight. For example, the Partners in Flight plan for western South Dakota states, "Maintenance of a ranching economy here is compatible with the needs of grassland birds and should be the highest conservation priority."


Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in South Dakota


Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in South Dakota

Kurt Forman
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
520B 3rd Ave. North
(PO Box 247)
Brookings, South Dakota  57006
Phone: 605 697-2500
Fax: 605 697-2505


 

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • South Dakota