habitat resources and landowner programs
South Dakota hunters and farmers share a passion for the land and a love of tradition. Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the secretaries of the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and the Agriculture (SDDA) announced a new chapter in that shared passion with the Habitat Pays initiative on October 2, 2015.
Habitat Pays is a joint effort between the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture to connect farmers and ranchers to the appropriate habitat resources and help them implement wildlife habitat where it makes the most sense.
Habitat Pays is a direct result of Governor Daugaard's 2013 Habitat Summit.
Habitat Pays is designed to provide more information and education to assist landowners in designing, developing and funding habitat on their land. Working directly with habitat advisors who possess the knowledge of federal, state and local programs, landowners can find the right programs to meet their personal habitat and land use goals.
The Habitat Pays website, habitat.sd.gov, focuses on bringing together all habitat and conservation programs available to South Dakota landowners, contact information about habitat advisors and how they can help navigate available habitat programs, landowner testimonies and information about the newly developed Habitat Conservation Fund and Board.
More information on private lands and access programs
- Walk-in Area Program - works to maintain South Dakota's rich hunting heritage by providing access on privately owned lands through contracts with landowners who have CRP or other valuable wildlife habitat. The landowner opens the land to free public hunting, (foot-traffic only), in exchange for a small payment and immunity from non-negligent liability.
- Controlled Hunting Access Program (CHAP) - In 2008, GFP initiated a new big game hunting access program - CHAP. CHAP is a cooperative effort between private landowners and Game, Fish and Parks. Landowners who enroll in CHAP will have more controll over hunter activities on their land, including controlling the amount of hunter use at a given time, setting special provisions for use, placing restrictions on big game species allowed to be harvested, and game retrieval. For more information or assistance, go to the Fact Sheet.
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (C.R.E.P.) - Administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency, CREP is a "state-sponsored" Conservation Reserve Program designed for a specific geographic area that will address resource concerns identified by state partners. In South Dakota, the focus will be on creating additional pheasant nesting habitat.