WETLAND RESTORATION PRACTICE
Photo:Chad Switzer, SD Game, Fish & Parks
Numerous temporary and seasonal wetlands are scattered across South Dakota's landscape, especially in the Prairie Pothole Region east of the Missouri River. High densities of wetlands of all shapes, sizes and depths support unique plant communities and wildlife species that depend on these diverse and valuable habitats. However, many of these wetlands have been drained by tile systems or drainage ditches. Many now recognize the benefits wetlands provide, such as improving water quality, serving as natural sponges to reduce flooding, supplying water, and providing hay and forage for livestock.
SD GF&P will provide up to 100% cost share for wetland restoration projects involving removal of tile or plugging drainage ditches. This excludes restorations necessary for compliance with NRCS Swampbuster or other regulatory provisions. SD GFP Habitat Biologists with survey, design and stake projects for construction, while assisting the landowner in obtaining all required permits.
Many programs exist for restoring cropped wetlands (CRP, WRP, etc.), but few financial incentives exist for landowners to restore non-cropped wetland and still allow use of these wetland/grassland complexes for livestock production. Therefore, through the Non-Cropped Wetland Restoration Initiative, SD GFP will provide 100% cost share to restore hydrology and a "one-time payment" of $150 per surface acre of wetlands restored.