riparian pasture practices

A riparian pasture area is the transitional zone adjacent to streams and rivers where vegetation is strongly influenced by the presence of water. Riparian areas are some of the most productive areas across South Dakota. Healthy riparian areas provide water and shelter for livestock and wildlife. They also filter runoff and capture sediment; improving water quality.

Riparian areas respond relatively quickly to management changes. Those in need of help have limited woody vegetation regeneration (cottonwood, green ash, box elder, wild plum, willow, chokecherry, etc.) and eroded banks with deeply incised channels along seasonal and permanent streams.

  • The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will provide up to 75 precent cost share to create a riparian pasture managed to improve woody vegetation regeneration and stabilize stream banks while increasing forage production.

  • Alternative water sources will also be eligible for 50 percent cost-share, up to $5,000, if the riparian area was the main source of water. Priority will be given to projects where the landowner is interested in managed grazing on the adjacent uplands as well.

Cooperating landowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of fencing projects and agree to develop a managed grazing system with GFP using USDA-NRCS stocking rate guidelines.

For more information, please contact a GFP habitat biologist.