Page 1 - SDWF Out of Doors
P. 1

1 888 overbag

                                                            Affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation                     VOLUME 63, NUMBER 1
         Inside this issue:                                          FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AWARDS
         Page 2
         President Column                                  $23 MILLION FOR PRAIRIE POTHOLE REGION
         Page 3                                          Announcement is welcome news for South Dakota duck hunters
         ExEcutivE DirEctor column                                 BY: JOSHUA HAIAR - MARCH 21, 2023 3:59 PM
         WElcomE to mEgan HoWEll
                                     The federal government plans to spend $23 million to restore
         2023 lEgislaturE rEcap      and conserve grasslands and wetlands in the Prairie Pothole
         Page 4                      Region, which is known as the “duck factory” of North America

         2022 consErvationist of tHE   and is home to migratory birds, fish and other wildlife.
         YEar aWarD                  The money is part of the Department of the Interior’s $120
         Page 5                      million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to restore

         Black Hills forEst aDDs     ecosystems nationwide.
                                     “These projects will increase the  resiliency of  habitats  and
         239 acrEs
                                     infrastructure to withstand severe and unanticipated weather
         lEgislator of tHE YEar aWarD  events,  furthering our work to  restore  America’s  natural
         Page 6                      infrastructure through nature-based  solutions,” Interior

         cHris HEsla mEmorial        Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.
         DonatEs to tHE YoutH        The Prairie Pothole Region is an area of wetlands that extends
         consErvation camp           across parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota,
         sDWf annual convEntion      Iowa, Nebraska and Montana, as well as Canada.                   A South Dakota duck hunter walks through the tall grass along a
         savE tHE DatE               The region was covered by a thick sheet of ice over 10,000         wetland with his dog. (Josh Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)
         Page 7                      years ago. As the ice receded, it left behind depressions in  who manages conservation programs for Ducks Unlimited’s
                                     the  land  that  filled  with  water,  forming  numerous  “pothole”  South Dakota chapter. “It’s going to impact all of North America’s
         sDWf communication aWarD    wetlands.                                                    waterfowl.”
         YoutH consErvation camp     The money will help with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service effort  Toay said the widespread  draining  of small wetlands is
         Page 8                      to restore and conserve native grasslands and wetlands on  especially harmful to  waterfowl populations, because many
                                     over 350,000 acres of existing Waterfowl Production Areas.  ducks are territorial breeders.
         rEcovEring amErica’s        Those are protected wetlands or  grasslands managed by
         WilDlifE act                the Fish and Wildlife Service to support waterfowl and other   “Ten 1-acre wetlands will create three times as many ducks as
         sDWf calls for a pausE on                                                                one 10-acre wetland,” Toay said. And while farmers may see an
         WatErfoWl proposal WHilE    wildlife species – ideally located in breeding or nesting areas,   opportunity to increase yields by draining a temporary wetland,
         gfp collEcts Data from      or  migratory  stopover  sites  for  waterfowl.  The  areas  are   “Those temporary,  seasonal basins are the most productive
         rEsiDEnt HuntErs            open to the public for hunting, wildlife observation, and other   during the breeding season.”
                                     outdoor recreation, but they are managed with an emphasis
                                     on wildlife conservation.                                    Toay said people who are not interested in ducks should still
                                     “The projects will build upon critically important breeding areas   want to see their habitats conserved. Wetlands also provide
                                                                                                  cleaner  water,  carbon  sequestration  to  fight  climate  change,
                                     for waterfowl, grassland birds, pollinators, and threatened and   flood control and greater biodiversity.
                                     endangered species,” said Deborah Kornblut, a spokesperson
                                     with the Fish and Wildlife Service, in an emailed statement.  Rocco Murano, a senior waterfowl biologist for the South Dakota
                                     Officials  involved  are  “still  identifying  project  specifics  and   Department  of  Game,  Fish  and  Parks,  recently  briefed  the
                                                                                                  Game, Fish and Parks Commission on the state’s waterfowl. He
                                     project leads,” Kornblut added. Some of the existing ways the   said the number of resident duck hunters has fallen from about
                                     Fish and Wildlife Service works to restore the Prairie Pothole   25,000  to 11,000
                                     Region is through planting native grasses, wildflowers and   since the late 1990s.
                                     wetland vegetation, as well as conducting controlled burns   The      department
                                     and restoring natural water flows.
                              Barcoded Flats  Waterfowl and water quality                         That decline impacts
                                                                                                  is unsure  what is
                                                                                                  driving the trend.
                                     The announcement is welcome news for many duck hunters.
                                     According  to Ducks Unlimited, a waterfowl  conservation
                                                                                                  conservation  efforts
                                     group, the Prairie Pothole Region is the most important and
                                     threatened  waterfowl  habitat  on  the  continent.  The  group
                                                                                                  license fees and the
                                     says many of the potholes in the region have been drained    in the state, because
                                     to plant more crops, dried out from drought or degraded by   taxes on hunting,
                                     pollutants.                                                  fishing  and  shooting
                                     “If we lose those wetlands and grasslands, it’s not just going   gear go back into
                                                                                                  wildlife  conservation
                                     to impact South Dakota and North Dakota,” said Bruce Toay,
                                                                                                                                (Courtesy of Ducks Unlimited)
   1   2   3   4   5   6