Competitive Grants December 2009


We are no longer accepting proposals for 2010. Check back in December for news on the 2011 Competitive Grants Program.

: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) has set aside a portion of its State Wildlife Grants funds for fish and wildlife conservation proposals from outside the agency. State Wildlife Grants (SWG) funding is provided annually to states to address the needs of certain animal species and their habitats. The funding ratio for SWG projects is 50% federal, 50% nonfederal. South Dakota's competitive grants program requires that the applicant provide at least 25% of the nonfederal match. SDGFP will provide the remaining nonfederal match, if needed, up to a maximum of 25%. The purpose of this competitive grant program is to assist in implementing the South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan.

What is the funding source?
State Wildlife Grants is an annual appropriation from Congress to state fish and wildlife agencies. Funding is not guaranteed beyond one year, although the State Wildlife Grants program has been funded each year since 2002.

Who may apply for this grant program?
Individuals, organizations, state and local entities, and educational facilities. Applications can be submitted from outside the state if the project will be conducted in South Dakota. For-profit entities may not apply for grants.

What kinds of projects are eligible?
Submissions must pertain to one of the topics listed.

What are the funding and time limits?
A maximum of $50,000 in State Wildlife Grants funds can be requested for a project. A project can last a maximum of 3 years. Project starting and ending dates must be identified.

Ranking criteria: Only projects that meet the eligibility criteria will be ranked and considered for funding. Projects will be judged according to their relevance to the South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan and specifically to addressing one of the identified priorities. Projects that have clear and achievable objectives and the potential to build partnerships and visibility for wildlife diversity will be viewed favorably.

In addition, SDGFP will consider the following factors in determining these awards:

1. Specialized expertise, capabilities, and technical competence as demonstrated by the proposed approach and methodology to meet the project requirements;
2. Resources available to perform the work, including any specialized services, within the specified time limits for the project;
3. Record of past performance, including price and cost data from previous projects, quality of work, ability to meet schedules, cost control, and contract administration;
4. Availability to the project locale;
5. Familiarity with the project locale;
6. Proposed project management techniques; and
7. Ability and proven history in handling special project constraints.

SDGFP reserves the right to award less than the total amount available if suitable projects are not submitted.

Application Process and Timeframes: Applicants must submit an electronic copy of the application using the format provided. Applications will be evaluated by SDGFP for compliance with program requirements and priorities. Successful applicants will be notified and must then complete a second, more detailed proposal that will meet the federal requirements for State Wildlife Grants funding. Successful applicants must also comply with reporting requirements during the project. This is a reimbursement program, and only eligible expenses incurred after federal approval can be submitted for reimbursement. Successful applicants must comply with all deadlines set by SDGFP or risk forfeiting the award.

Applications must be received by January 22, 2010.

Successful applicants will be notified by February 29, 2010.


  • 5 pages maximum
  • Proposal must follow this format and be submitted as an electronic copy to Eileen Dowdstukel. Paper or faxed copies will not be accepted.
  • Microsoft Word or pdf files are preferred.
  • It is the applicant's responsibility to provide information that is complete and clear.
Wildlife Action Plan Competitive Grants topics

1. Spotted ground squirrel (Spermophilus spilosoma)

Project need: Identification of populations and habitat.
Desired project components: Locate populations and describe abundance, seasonal use patterns, and habitat characteristics.

2. Western box turtle (Terrapene ornata)

Project need: Identification of inhabited areas.
Desired project components: Abundance, seasonal use patterns, and description of land use and habitat characteristics of inhabited areas and surrounding lands.

3. Meadow Jumping Mouse (Zapus hudsonius campestris)

Project need: Subspecies endemic to the Black Hills area. Population status is unknown. It is likely that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be petitioned to list this subspecies at some point in the future and we need to have better information available.
Desired project components: Sample habitats for presence/absence and evaluate habitat requirements and habitat status. This will entail intensive trapping in riparian habitats of the Black Hills. Prepare a status report, including historical accounts of the species occurrence and habitat.

4. Delta habitat of upper Lewis and Clark Lake

Project need: This large area of habitat has never been inventoried for fauna with the exception of some limited fisheries work. There is potentially habitat for several species monitored by the South Dakota Natural Heritage Program or Wildlife Action Plan species of greatest conservation need, such as king rail, northern water snake, false map and softshell turtles, and several species of freshwater mussels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be proposing major modification of the habitat, and biological information is needed.
Desired project components: Survey of the delta habitat with an emphasis on birds, amphibians, reptiles, and freshwater mussels.

5. Calcareous fens in eastern South Dakota

Project need: Calcareous fens are a specific type of saturated wetland formed primarily from active discharge of groundwater rich in dissolved calcium and bicarbonate ions. The constant discharge of oxygen-poor, cold, calcareous water contributes to the accumulation of non-acidic peat deposits and other calcium-rich deposits which in turn support unique plant communities. Calcareous fens tend to be small and localized across a landscape because of the unique hydrological environments needed for their development.
Desired project components: We are interested in proposals that would utilize soils and geologic maps, aerial imagery and field surveys to identify and characterize calcareous fens in eastern South Dakota. Products are to include locational information, physical measurements on water chemistry and peat depths, and vegetation composition.

6. Bats

Project need: Artificial roost sites, such as bat houses, have been accepted to varying degrees by bats, although no empirical data have been collected in South Dakota. Artificial roosts can provide valuable alternative maternity roosts in areas lacking natural habitats or where bat exclusion from buildings has created a need for alternative roosts.
Desired project components: Results of bat use of several widely-promoted bat house designs, placed in various representative habitat types. Results will provide defensible information for advising homeowners and landowners. An additional potential component is testing of a volunteer network to continue the assessment of bat acceptance of different design and placement scenarios.

7. Native terrestrial habitats of Minnesota River watershed in northeastern South Dakota

Project need: Inventory of native terrestrial habitats to include native grasslands, upland forests, riparian woodlands and wet meadows of that portion of South Dakota that lies in the Minnesota River Watershed.
Desired project components: Utilizing the National Vegetation Classification, aerial imagery, GIS technology, and on-the-ground sampling, map and characterize remaining parcels of native terrestrial vegetation. Mapping can be done at the system level with sampling and ranking done at the plant association level.

8. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Project need: This state endangered species is unlikely to recover in South Dakota without reintroduction. Two short-term (one-year) reintroduction projects have been conducted by volunteer groups in South Dakota; neither project resulted in nesting within the state. A number of states in the Northern Great Plains and Midwest have successfully reintroduced peregrine falcons.
Desired project components: State-specific strategy document for species recovery. Project should include an evaluation of past short-term reintroduction projects in South Dakota, a review of successful reintroduction programs in the Northern Great Plains and Midwest, and a recommended plan for peregrine falcon recovery in South Dakota. If additional reintroductions are recommended, potential sites, methodology and costs should be identified. Downlisting and delisting goal recommendations for the species in South Dakota should also be identified.

9. Riparian habitats of South Dakota.

Project need: Annotated bibliography of research or reports on work conducted in South Dakota ecoregions on riparian zone vegetation, riparian management, and stream morphology and dynamics.
Desired project components: Both aquatic and terrestrial research should be reviewed and summarized, with an emphasis on terrestrial components. The review should include published literature and other pertinent information, including unpublished agency reports and relevant theses and dissertations.