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governor's Pheasant habitat work group

Summit Information


September 9, 2014

governor's Pheasant Habitat Work Group announces recommendations

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A work group formed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced its recommendations for enhancing pheasant habitat in South Dakota during a press conference today at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls.

“South Dakota has long been the world’s premier pheasant hunting destination,” Gov. Daugaard said. “I appreciate the work group’s efforts to develop practical solutions for maintaining and restoring habitat, a critical component of our strong pheasant populations.”

Gov. Daugaard formed the work group following the Pheasant Habitat Summit last December. Group members met eight times from February through August, reviewing hundreds of comments, suggestions, letters, survey results and scientific data. The work group then developed a report with eight recommendations for action.

Among other suggestions, the work group calls for the formation of the South Dakota Conservation Fund “dedicated to providing financial resources directly to conservation efforts, including pheasant habitat.” Gov. Daugaard has pledged to establish the fund, and Tim Kessler, an Aberdeen businessman and member of the work group, has committed an initial gift of $100,000 to launch it.

“Tim Kessler’s generous gift is a great start to our fundraising efforts, which will be an important part of our habitat improvement actions,” said Gov. Daugaard. “This is just the beginning and we will seek additional donations to support the South Dakota Conservation Fund.”

The Conservation Fund will be established through the South Dakota Community Foundation. Individuals or entities looking to support the fund can contact Stephanie Judson at 605-224-1025.

“Pheasant hunting is a strong South Dakota tradition and I want to see it continue for generations to come,” said Kessler, also the Pheasants Forever National Board vice-chairman. “I’m proud to support this effort, and am confident others will do the same.”

A complete summary of the pheasant habitat work group’s efforts, including meeting minutes, public suggestions and the final report, is available above.

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The following are videos from South Dakota Public Broadcasting during the Governor's Pheasant Habitat Summit.

opening remarks

Jeff Vonk - Secretary, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
Governor Dennis Daugaard

history of pheasants

Tony Leif - Director, Wildlife Division of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

south dakota land use

Barry Dunn, Ph. D. - South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean, SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

modern agricultural production

Bruce Knight - Principle and Founder, Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC

Conservation Policies

Dave Nomsen - VP of Governmental Affairs, Pheasants Forever

pheasant hunting and tourism

Jim Hagen - Secretary, South Dakota Department of Tourism

Panel Discussion

Moderated by Lucas Lentsch - Secretary, South Dakota Department of Agriculture

findings of small group discussions and wrap-up