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Humans make a vital role in conservation. Whether it be through taking part in conservation right in your backyard, or through your locally led conservation district, it is all of our jobs, as humans, to take part in conserving the natural resources around us.

Locally Led Conservation

Locally Led Conservation embodies the power of local individuals, guided by the stewardship of conservation districts. Together, they form a dynamic force that:

  1. Assesses Natural Resources: They keenly evaluate the state of our natural resources and discern the needs that require attention.

  2. Sets Goals: By identifying objectives, they lay the foundation for focused conservation efforts.

  3. Identifies Resources: They pinpoint programs and other essential resources necessary to achieve their conservation goals.

  4. Develops Proposals and Recommendations: Crafting thoughtful proposals and recommendations, they outline the path forward.

  5. Implements Solutions: Taking action, they implement these solutions with dedication and resolve.

  6. Measures Success: By assessing outcomes, they gauge the impact of their efforts and fine-tune their strategies for continual improvement.

The need for local leadership in natural resource management was a driving force behind the establishment of conservation districts nearly six decades ago. With the inception of the Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), conservation districts emerged as the local epicenter for orchestrating and delivering crucial technical assistance and funding to private land managers.

Throughout the years, federal, state, and local governments have channeled their support through conservation districts to address every facet of natural resource conservation. These districts have diligently prioritized and executed programs tailored to local conditions and needs, ensuring a steadfast commitment to the preservation of our natural heritage.

To learn more about Locally Led Conservation in South Dakota, visit

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Locally Led Conservation

"Growing Places" with Backyard Conservation

Bringing conservation from the countryside to your own backyard, "Backyard Conservation" demonstrates how practices commonly employed on agricultural lands throughout the country can be applied to enhance your home's surrounding environment. These practices not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the attractiveness and enjoyment of your yard. They aid in increasing food and shelter for wildlife, controlling soil erosion, reducing sediment in waterways, conserving water, improving air quality, nurturing a stewardship ethic, and enhancing the landscape.


Backyard Conservation Book

This popular 28-page color booklet shows how farm and ranch conservation practices can be adapted for use in any sized backyard. Ten conservation practices are also highlighted. This book has lists of websites and places to get additional conservation information and assistance. 

Backyard Conservation Tip Sheets

The following tip sheets offer "how to" steps and helpful hints on backyard conservation practices. 

This tip sheet explains how to use patio plants to attract birds and butterflies.

Human Activities

Human Activities


This activity is a hands-on method to help youth understand conservation and how all living things in an ecosystem, including humans, are interconnected.

Click here to download

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