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Dense Nesting Cover

Dense nesting cover, or DNC, is a mixture of cool season grasses (those that green up early in the spring), legumes and forbs. DNC is the cornerstone habitat type for many species of wildlife.

Lack of adequate nesting cover is the number one limiting factor for pheasant populations in South Dakota. Species like pheasant, waterfowl and other upland nesting birds use DNC for nesting, rearing their broods, roosting and loafing. DNC is designed to maximize nesting activity and reproductive success for pheasants on your property.

SD Game Fish and Parks will cost share 100% of the installation costs for DNC establishment. A 10 year commitment will be required by the cooperator for keeping the DNC grass intact and undisturbed.

These projects will establish or enhance managed nesting areas from 10 to 160 acres in size. Each site will be excluded from haying and grazing for the duration of the agreement. Spot spraying and mowing will be allowed to control weeds but must not exceed 10% of the total seeded acres.

Seeded areas shall not be contracted under the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Seeded areas may be used as snow traps on the north or west sides of shelterbelts.

South Dakota law (SDCL 41-2-23) requires that reasonable public hunting shall be provided when habitat management funds are expended on private lands.

Common components of DNC include:


Intermediate Wheatgrass
Tall Wheatgrass
Green Needlegrass
Canada Wildrye

Forbs and Legumes

Purple Prairieclover
Maximilian sunflower

Contact a GFP Wildlife Habitat Biologist...

For more information on any of these programs.