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riparian pasture practice


A riparian area is the transitional zone adjacent to streams and rivers where vegetation is strongly influenced by the presence of water. Riparian areas are some of the most productive areas on the landscape in much of South Dakota. Healthy riparian areas provide water and shelter for livestock and wildlife. They also filter runoff and capture sediment thereby improving water quality.

Riparian areas respond relatively quickly to management changes. Those in need of help have limited woody vegetation regeneration (cottonwood, green ash, box elder, wild plum, willow, chokecherry, etc.) and eroded banks with deeply incised channels along seasonal and permanent streams.

SD GF&P will provide up to 75% cost share to create a riparian pasture that is managed to improve woody vegetation regeneration and stabilize stream banks while increasing forage production. Alternative water sources will also be eligible for 50% cost-share, up to $5,000, if the riparian area was the main source of water. Priority will be given to projects were the landowner is interested in managed grazing on the adjacent uplands as well.

Cooperating landowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of fencing projects and agree to develop a managed grazing system with SD GFP using USDA-NRCS stocking rate guidelines.