DU completes eastern SD wetlands Phase 1

A weekly update on South Dakota conservation

For our Ducks Unlimited Supporters, here is a weekly update on recent and future conservation projects in South Dakota. As you will discover, DU takes a holistic approach to conservation and develops relationships with the people that live on this landscape so important to North Americas Waterfowl. Comprehensive conservation benefits all people and wildlife.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) provides a critically important funding source for Ducks Unlimited’s conservation mission across the country and important match for private gifts from our major donors. In South Dakota, we recently completed Phase I of our Eastern South Dakota Wetlands series of NAWCA proposals, with a total cost of more than $3.5 million. Since March 2016, this project has conserved more than 2,700 acres of wildlife habitat on public and private lands within the Prairie Pothole Region of South Dakota.

Specific grant highlights include:

  • Protected with conservation easements 1,706 acres of grassland and wetland habitat on working farms and ranches
  • Purchased 87 acres of land that was donated to expand public access
  • Restored or created 18 acres of wetlands and 429 acres of native grasslands
  • Enhanced 496 additional acres of prairie habitat with improved management options
  • These projects occurred in DU’s highest priority areas, conserving critically important waterfowl habitat and improving ecosystem services* and access for all South Dakotans.

    NAWCA funds were matched with $1.5 million dollars of private contributions from DU donors and conservation partners, including S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, James River Water Development District, and many others.

    *Wetlands provide food, fiber, water and economic viability - benefiting us all. Wetlands capture and store agricultural runoff, and recharge clean drinking water supplies. They also provide critical flood protection for our homes, businesses and property. Associated grasslands store important carbon and organic reserves in the soil for tens of thousands of years.

    To discover more about DU’s diverse conservation work in North America https://www.ducks.org/wetland-conservation

    or how you can continue your support of our mission: https://www.ducks.org/LeadersInGiving