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Environmental Review

South Dakota’s wildlife depends upon the quality and quantity of native habitats including lands, waters, and other environmental components necessary for species survival and perpetuation.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is often asked to help evaluate the impact of projects or land use changes to game or nongame species, rare species and native habitats. Our environmental review of projects helps fulfill our state-wide mission to manage wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and enjoyment by the citizens of South Dakota and visiting publics. We also want to prevent or minimize unnecessary damage to species and their habitats by offering possible mitigation measures or alternative project actions.

We may contribute our input in various ways, whether submitting official comment letters or providing feedback in a more informal setting. If a project is funded by a federal agency or tied to the federal government, an environmental review is typically mandated by that federal agency.

The South Dakota Environmental Review Tool is an interactive resource for conservation planning and environmental review by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). This site provides access to information on biological diversity, protected lands and other natural resources for conservation planning purposes. It also allows users to submit projects for review of potential impacts to rare, state or federal listed species and their habitats in South Dakota.

To obtain an environmental review, submit a project using the environmental review tool, or submit a letter or email requesting a review, along with the following information, to Hilary Morey, Environmental Review Coordinator, 523 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501

  • Description of the entire project, conceptual or whole, including the project purpose, timing, area (acres) to be disturbed and current and proposed future land use of the project area,
  • Explanation of the type of state and/or federal permits required for the project and funding source,
  • Project location and county (including section, township, range OR latitude, longitude coordinates).
  • Aerial photo delineating the project area, including any off-site areas that will be used for things such as communication, power or energy infrastructure, borrow sites, waste sites, access/haul roads, buildings, disposal areas, etc.
  • Occurrence of various species and habitats, if known.
  • Proposed project alternatives, mitigation measures and monitoring, if developed.
  • Contact information (name, mailing address, email address, and phone number) of the person submitting the request for review.

We encourage early consultation and notice of proposed projects. Please plan accordingly and allow sufficient time for our internal review to be completed.

The South Dakota Natural Heritage Database described above is one tool used to evaluate impacts to rare species or unique ecosystems, but there may be other resources within the agency that can be used to evaluate environmental impacts.