Photo © Dean Pearson

Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks will be accepting proposals beginning January 30, 2023 for funding through the Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program. The Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program provides funding for researchers, educators and naturalists to carry out projects focused on native wildlife. This program will be offered on an annual basis contingent on annual funding being available. Funding for the Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program is provided by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife.

In 2023 the Small Grants funding will be used for projects focused on education and outreach. Native wildlife species and their habitat should be the emphasis of the proposed project.

Projects or applicants must also meet these criteria:

  • Projects must be completed within the budget submitted.
  • Projects should be limited to one year. Multi-year projects will be considered, but additional annual funding will not be available. 
  • Employees of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks are not eligible to apply.
  • State, federal and tribal governmental agencies are ineligible to apply. However, individual employees of those agencies can apply as private citizens. Proposals from local levels of government will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Must provide a product directly usable by the public. A written report must be submitted to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Projects involving more than one applicant must select one individual to be responsible for completing the project. This individual will sign the state contract.
  • Project awards are limited to $5,000.00 per applicant or organization. A total of $20,000.00 is available.

Applicants may submit proposals in word processed, typewritten, or handwritten format.  Proposals are limited to 5 pages and must include all information requested and in the order shown on the 2023 South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program Application form. Send one copy of your application to the address listed in Application Information, see below. Social Security number is not required on the proposal. However, if a proposal is funded the applicant will need to provide a Social Security number or taxpayer ID number.

A panel of wildlife and education professionals will evaluate projects. All applicants will be notified of the results. Emphasis will be on project need and cost effectiveness. All eligible and acceptable projects will be reviewed and ordered by priority using a predetermined ranking system. Projects will then be funded from highest to lowest priority until funds are exhausted or until all eligible and acceptable projects are funded. If one individual or organization has submitted more than one project that scores high enough for funding, those projects will be funded only if the accumulated total remains below $5,000.00. South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks reserves the right to not use the full funding amount if projects are deemed ineligible. 

Evaluation of the project will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Is the project needed?
  2. How likely is the project to be successful?
  3. Is the applicant qualified to carry out the project? The applicant must have the appropriate experience or qualifications needed to complete the project.
  4. Is the project cost effective? It is to the applicant's advantage to prepare a budget that is carefully prepared and economical. A minimal stipend is acceptable. Proposals can include expenses for vehicle travel costs (up to $.37 per mile).
  5. The project must be compatible with the mission statement of Wildlife Division, as follows:
    • The Wildlife Division will manage South Dakota's wildlife and fisheries resources and their associated habitats for their sustained and equitable use, and for the benefit, welfare, and enjoyment of the citizens of this state and its visitors.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE – COB February 24, 2023


All applicants will be notified of their project status by March 31, 2023. Funded proposals will be administered as contracts with the state and will be subject to rules and regulations that apply to state contracts. Equipment purchased with grant funding will be considered property of the state.


Applicants are encouraged to promote their projects in various media. Funding from the Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program must be acknowledged in all publications and promotions.


Casey Heimerl
Wildlife Diversity Small Grants Program
South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks
523 E. Capitol-Foss Bldg.
Pierre, SD 57501

Previously Completed Projects