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.

During the 2015 legislative session, $350,000 was appropriated to the Fund. These state funds must be matched 1:1 by private contributions donated to the Fund. To date, donations in the amount of $425,000 have been secured as match.

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.

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 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.

Apply for a Grant

A competitive grant program offers funding for habitat projects in South Dakota. Applicants must be qualified non-profit organizations.