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about funding for Recovery projects

like the Osprey Reintroduction in southeastern South Dakota

Reintroduction projects are logistically complicated and expensive. It's best to monitor species and habitats to detect declining populations and try to turn things around rather than relying on reintroduction as the best solution. But sometimes reintroduction is necessary.

This project benefitted from a Master of Science study by Robert Usgaard at South Dakota State University. Usgaard evaluated the feasibility of reintroducing Bald Eagles and Ospreys in South Dakota. His project was supported with Pittman-Robertson (P-R) funds, a source established to restore wild birds and mammals. P-R funds derive from a federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, archery equipment, and handguns. Funds are apportioned to state wildlife agencies by the U.S. Department of Interior based on a formula that considers the state's total area and licensed hunter numbers.

A new funding source allowed GFP to follow through on Usgaard's feasibility study. The Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP) was a one-year funding source provided to state wildlife agencies to conduct nongame or rare species conservation projects, environmental education, and wildlife-associated recreation. WCRP funded a pilot project that included site selection and other preparation and the first year of reintroduction in 2003.

A new federal funding source emphasized conservation projects rather than education or recreation activities. State Wildlife Grants are federal dollars provided to all states and territories, with a priority placed on proactive conservation to prevent fish and wildlife species from becoming endangered. State Wildlife Grants funding is matched with a nonfederal source. GFP provides the majority of the nonfederal match for Osprey reintroduction in South Dakota, although volunteer time will also help defray some of the cost of the nonfederal match.

State Wildlife Grants funding has been extremely important in helping GFP and other state and tribal wildlife agencies fulfill their legal responsibilities to manage and restore nongame and endangered species. However, it is an unstable, annual appropriation that only scratches the surface of fish and wildlife funding needs.

The Teaming with Wildlife coalition is a broad and diverse group of government agencies, biologists, hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, hikers, nature-based businesses and other conservationists who support the goal of restoring and conserving our nation's wildlife. The Teaming coalition was instrumental in securing State Wildlife Grants funding and has been working hard to secure stable, long-term funding to meet the needs of fish and wildlife and native habitats. More Information to learn about the national effort to help wildlife....

South Dakota has a large and diverse state Teaming coalition that has helped deliver this message to our senators and representative in DC. More Information, including how to join the state coalition....

For more information

Contact Eileen Dowd Stukel, SDGFP, or Silka Kempema, SDGFP,