801 E 5th Street – Suite 2, Canton, SD 57013 | Office Phone: 605-987-4332 | Email:Sean.Newberg@sd.nacdnet.net
Conservation districts focus on natural resource problems and solutions. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for every South Dakotan.
South Dakota’s conservation districts were organized over 50 years ago by vote of the people in each district. We are similar to other local units of government such as school boards or counties. Each of the state’s 69 districts is governed by a board of five supervisors.
We’ve learned from the past. The Dust Bowl taught everyone a distant but valuable history lesson and dramatically changed the American landscape. Today, farmers and ranchers use new technology to optimize crop and livestock productivity while practicing environmental stewardship. Widespread conservation practices like planting trees and leaving crop residue on fields prevent soil from blowing and washing away. Land managers have altered their practices — ranging from the way they till their land to the crops they plan to how much fertilizer they use — so as to protect the natural resources we all depend upon.
Homeowners have joined the conservation tradition of America’s farmers and ranchers. They are building backyard ponds and wetlands, and planting native grasses and plants that attract wildlife to improve community areas.
Districts continually adapt to newly emerging conservation challenges. We help
District personnel help farmers and ranchers who are challenged by issues such as manure and fertilizer management. Conservation efforts also focus on water quality, wetlands restoration, efficient irrigation, and flood protection.
Urban expansion brings forward other conservation issues. Common construction practices often accelerate erosion and wash sediment into water bodies. Homeowners often use too much fertilizer and pesticide in their yards, thereby impacting the quality of our water.
If you fish, hunt, golf, hike, boat, camp, eat, garden, drink water, swim, or breathe, you already benefit from the work of South Dakota’s conservation districts.