What is a
South Dakota's conservation districts coordinate assistance from all available resources—public and private, local, state, and federal—in an effort to develop locally led solutions to natural resource concerns. Organized over 75 years ago, each of the state's 68 districts is governed by a board of five supervisors who are elected by the public. They are similar to other local units of government such as school boards or counties. In South Dakota, conservation districts are a sub-division of state government.
In South Dakota, the work of conservation districts is vital because they play a big role in keeping our environment healthy and safe. They make sure our land, water, plants, and animals are taken care of properly. For example, they help farmers and landowners make choices that protect the soil so crops can grow well, and they ensure clean water for us to drink and for fish to live in. These districts also help create homes for wildlife, like birds and deer, and they teach us how to be good stewards of our environment.
How do conservation districts benefit
Local Conservation Leadership
They actively engage with their communities and schools, helping people understand the importance of preserving our natural resources. Through workshops, events, and outreach programs, they inspire individuals to make eco-friendly choices in their everyday lives, fostering a sense of responsibility for the environment.
Health of Air, Land, Water, Plants, & Animals
They work to keep our environment healthy by promoting responsible land use and farming practices that prevent soil erosion. They also advocate for policies that reduce air pollution and protect local ecosystems. They monitor water quality and support wildlife conservation efforts, ensuring our entire ecosystem thrives.
Wetland Conservation and Restoration
They're dedicated to preserving and restoring wetlands. Wetlands help clean our water by filtering out pollutants and providing homes for various wildlife like birds and fish. By safeguarding and reviving wetlands, they help keep our natural world in balance.
Groundwater Resource Protection
Recognizing the importance of groundwater for our drinking water, they take steps to keep it clean and safe. They work to prevent contamination from chemicals and pollutants through smart land use and conservation efforts, ensuring that future generations have access to clean drinking water.
Tree Planting & Land Cover
They plant trees and greenery strategically to combat soil erosion, protect our air quality, and provide homes for local wildlife. These efforts also enhance the beauty of our neighborhoods. They encourage others to join in these initiatives, promoting a sense of responsibility for our environment within the community.