Photo © Cory Zirbel

Partnerships | Grants

Together with our partners, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is committed to sustaining outdoor recreational opportunities, improving all aspects of communication and customer services, cultivating stewardship, fostering old and new partnerships and ultimately connecting our friends, families and future generations to the great outdoors of South Dakota.

Through our partnerships, our department is able to feature key programs and services along with grant offerings like the ones listed below.

Hunting Access Partnerships

  • Walk-In Area Program (WIA)
    Works to maintain South Dakota’s rich hunting heritage by providing public hunting access to privately owned lands that contain 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. Landowners with land enrolled in permanent habitat conservation programs like CRP can receive an additional upfront bonus payment by opening it to public hunting for multiple years.
  • Controlled Hunting Access Program (CHAP)
    CHAP is a cooperative effort between private landowners and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Landowners who enroll in CHAP have more control over hunter activities on their land; including controlling the number of hunters per day, the type of game that can be hunted, the type of seasons, the method of take (ex. archery only), and what days the CHAP is open.

Habitat Partnerships

  • Habitat Pays
    South Dakota is home to some of the best hunting and fishing in the world, thanks to the farmers and ranchers who care for their land. Habitat Pays helps landowners develop and fund wildlife habitat where it makes the most sense.
  • South Dakota Habitat Conservation Fund
    The South Dakota Habitat Conservation Fund (or the Fund) provides a permanent funding source for habitat work and was established through the South Dakota Community Foundation in November 2014 as a result of one of the eight recommendations stemming from the 2013 habitat summit. The Fund is governed by an independent Board of Directors; consisting of a maximum of 20 members that were initially appointed by the governor. The Board of Directors determines how funds are spent from the Fund and work collaboratively with non-government conservation partners and government agencies like the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and USDA’s National Resource Conservation Service to put programs and dollars on the ground.

Parks and Wildlife 

  • Parks and Wildlife Foundation
    Chartered by five private citizens in 1985 to support wildlife enhancement and park development activities for GFP. The Foundation's mission is to solicit and encourage support to preserve and protect South Dakota's natural resources, itsoutdoor heritage and provide expanded recreation and education opportunities. The Foundation is an independent, nongovernmental, nonprofit, public501(c)(3)organization working in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to accomplish its mission. The Foundation is governed by a board of directors comprised of up to 15 regular members and two non-voting, ex-officio members, the GFP Secretary and a designated representative from the GFP Commission.

Rare Species

  • Wildlife Action Plan
    The South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan assesses the health of South Dakota's fish and wildlife and associated habitats, evaluates the problems they face, and outlines actions to help conserve them for the long term. This plan encourages voluntary partnerships among governmental entities, tribes, organizations, and private citizens to help prevent fish and wildlife from becoming endangered and to provide for the needs of the full array of fish and wildlife and habitat diversity for the future sustained enjoyment and use by South Dakota's residents and visitors.
  • Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program
    Provides funding for researchers, educators and naturalists to carry out projects focused on native wildlife. This program is offered on an annual basis contingent on funding being available.

Recreation Grants

  • Recreational Trails Program
    Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal aid assistance program to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized trail use. The program provides up to 80 percent reimbursement funds for all kinds of recreational trail uses including, but not limited to: pedestrian use, biking, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, off road motorcycles, OHV and UTV riding, four wheeling, and snowmobiling. For more information, contact or 605.773.3391.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund
    Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a federal aid assistance program to help states provide outdoor recreation facilities. The program provides up to 50 percent reimbursement funds for acquisition and development of outdoor recreation projects. Eligible applicants include city, county, township and tribal governments. Some eligible projects may include, but are not limited to: playgrounds, ballfields, sport and play fields, picnic facilities, pools, ice rinks, golf courses, amphitheaters, winter sports facilities, visitor information facilities and land acquisitions. For more information, contact or 605.773.3391.
  • Shooting Range Grant Program
    South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) works to promote and enhance firearm and archery shooting opportunities for the public in the state. Because of the need for public shooting opportunities in South Dakota, GFP established the Shooting Range Grant Program. The Shooting Range Grant Program is a competitive grant program that assists with funding for non-profit organizations or agencies to establish, upgrade, expand, or improve public firearms and archery shooting ranges in South Dakota.

    Funding for the Shooting Range Grant Program comes from the US Fish and Wildlife Agency’s Wildlife Restoration Program, which is commonly known as Pittman-Robertson Program (P-R). P-R is funded through federal excise taxes on rifles, shotguns, handguns, ammunition and archery equipment. For more information contact or 605.773.4675