PIERRE, S.D. – Healthy habitat is crucial to the quality of life we enjoy in South Dakota. Under Governor Kristi Noem’s Second Century Initiative, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and the Second Century Habitat Fund are working to expand and improve habitat in a variety of ways.
Last year, GFP asked citizens to share their ideas on how to improve habitat across the state and the call was answered. Over a thousand ideas came in from individuals across South Dakota who care deeply about habitat and ensuring future generations will enjoy the great outdoor traditions we do now.
Winning submissions came from Ted Haeder of Wolsey, Craig Pugsley of Rapid City, Andrew Quintana of Mound City, Gordon Heber from Sioux Falls and Alisa Miller from Yankton. Winners received their choice of an annual park entrance license or an annual small game or angling license.
“Thanks to the dedication of these folks and their willingness to share, these ideas will improve habitat right here in South Dakota,” said Lisa Weyer, Executive Director for the Second Century Habitat Fund. “To raise awareness, we will annually host South Dakota’s Habitat Day, the Habitat Steward of the Year Award and an annual art contest.”
The 2021 winners of the art contest and Habitat Steward of the Year Award will take place on the newly designated Habitat Day at the South Dakota State Fair. “Mark your calendar and be sure to come visit our booth on Friday at the fair!” said Weyer. “The Second Century Habitat Fund will be set up at the GFP booth.”
Habitat is critical to wildlife populations and everyone who enjoys our natural resources. A day dedicated to habitat will raise awareness of its importance for everyone in South Dakota and present the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to habitat improvements.
This celebration of habitat began in September at the South Dakota State Fair. Our first Habitat Day included the announcement of additional habitat activities and panel discussions on what quality habitat means to South Dakota.
Habitat Awards Program
Habitat is a team effort and everyone across the state from landowners, producers, non-governmental conservation organizations (NGOs) and outdoor enthusiasts are all critical components of this team. The Second Century Habitat Fund will take nominations and select winners who make outstanding contributions to habitat improvements, conservation and public land access.
The Habitat Steward of the Year will recognize a South Dakota landowner who provides an outstanding example of pheasant habitat development and conservation while promoting awareness to sustain South Dakota’s strong outdoor heritage of pheasant hunting for current and future generations. Nominations will be accepted until April 30, 2021. The winner will be announced at the 2021 South Dakota State Fair and receive a monetary award to make habitat development improvements on their land.
Habitat Day Art Contest
Artists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to share their wildlife work, especially featuring habitat, and have the opportunity to be featured in promotional material for the Second Century Habitat Fund.
Entries are now being accepted. For complete rules and how to enter, visit SDhabitatfund.org. Entries will be accepted through March 31, 2021, and the winner will be announced at the 2021 South Dakota State Fair.