south dakota Habitat conservation fund

The South Dakota Habitat Conservation Fund (or the Fund) provides a permanent funding source for habitat work and was established through the South Dakota Community Foundation in November 2014 as a result of one of the eight recommendations stemming from the 2013 habitat summit.

The South Dakota Community Foundation provides the non-profit infrastructure to accept and manage contributions and performs all non-profit services necessary to receive tax deductible contributions for the Fund.

  • Contribute to the Fund - Contributions to the Fund may be endowed or spendable immediately depending on the wishes of the donor or source.

The Fund is governed by an independent Board of Directors; consisting of a maximum of 20 members that were initially appointed by the governor. The Board of Directors determines how funds are spent from the Fund and work collaboratively with non-government conservation partners and government agencies like the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and USDA’s National Resource Conservation Service to put programs and dollars on the ground.

Foundation Created

The Board of Directors for the Fund has recently formed a new corporation from the existing board in the State of South Dakota and is currently in the process of applying for a nonprofit determination from the Internal Revenue Service. The new corporation is called the South Dakota Habitat Conservation Foundation, Inc and it will assume all of the responsibilities of the previous board. 

The new corporation can accept donations, but donations to the new foundation are not tax deductible until it has obtained a nonprofit determination from the IRS. These non-endowed, spendable contributions will be accepted and managed by the new Foundation. 

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) will continue to accept endowed contributions for the Fund created there in 2014. Contributions to the Fund in the SDCF are tax deductible. The new corporation will manage the funds in the Fund at the SDCF.  Please call 605.773.4503 if you have questions about the new Foundation or making a contribution.

To make a spendable contribution to the new Foundation, please send a check to:
SD Habitat Conservation Foundation Inc
523 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD  57501

Board Members

Jeff Scherschligt, President
Steve Halverson, Secretary/Treasurer
Doug Balvin
Tony Bour
Barry Dunn
Christine Hamilton
Tim Kessler
Scott Lawrence
Les Lindskov
DeLon Mork
Dick Muth
Larry Ness
Jan Nicolay
Terry Schultz
Jack Theeler
Kelly Hepler, Ex Officio Board Member
Cathy Peterson, Ex Officio Board Member

Board Meetings and Other Information

Funding can be used to develop and improve habitat, including but not limited to:

  • Match for Federal grant programs designed to address specific natural resource needs in South Dakota.
  • Match for federal grant programs designed to address specific natural resource needs in South Dakota.

    • Examples include, but would not be limited to: Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

  • Provide incentive payments or cost-share assistance to promote the use of conservation practices on “working lands” such as crop rotations, cover crops, grazing management, and prairie restoration for grazing and wildlife.

  • Projects that improve or create pollinator habitat on public and private lands while providing quality habitat for upland nesting birds. Habitat established would address critical needs of annual life cycle for both pollinators and other wildlife species.

  • Assist landowners in identifying acres which over the long-term do not meet economic minimums and could be better suited as wildlife habitat by utilizing “precision farming” technologies.

  • Provide supplemental incentives for enhanced activities of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) for improving habitat quality on private lands.

  • Projects that address soil health and water quality issues in an agricultural landscape while creating wildlife habitat.

  • Utilization of Conservation Opportunity Areas outlined in the South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan as a reference to help focus conservation efforts and resources.

2016 Grant Awards