The Revolving Habitat Strategy (RHS) is an important component of DU’s conservation efforts in South Dakota. During the fiscal year 2018, DU acquired five properties from willing sellers, totaling more than 1,400 acres.
The RHS is a unique conservation tool that DU uses to focus in on vulnerable habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. With this program, DU identifies properties that are for sale and offers landowners the opportunity to protect and restore priority waterfowl habitat. The properties are the best of the best in terms of the potential to protect and restore important waterfowl breeding habitat.
Habitat on the RHS property is restored and protected with perpetual conservation easements. DU then sells the land, typically, to a local farmer or rancher who then operates the property for agricultural uses compatible with the protection and management of waterfowl habitat.
During 2018, DU was able to revolve out of the program three properties in Brown County. The sale of conservation easements and the three parcels generated $1,834,000 back into the RHS to be used for future projects. Through the life of this program, DU has protected and revolved more than 33,000 acres of vitally important waterfowl habitat. Land in the program is open to the public for hunting while owned by Ducks Unlimited.