PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) recently received notification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that an additional allocation of State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) would be open for enrollment to landowners across the state.
The Pheasant SAFE received 25,000 acres and the West River Grassland Nesting Birds SAFE received 15,000 acres. Both the Pheasant SAFE and West River Grassland Nesting Birds SAFE create nesting habitat for pheasants, grouse and a multitude of grassland song birds.
USDA also recently allocated 30,000 acres of the Duck Nesting Habitat CRP to South Dakota. These acres can only be enrolled in eastern South Dakota in areas with 25 pairs or more of nesting waterfowl per square mile. The Duck Nesting Habitat CRP allows up to 10 acres of upland per acre of eligible wetland to be enrolled. This allowance creates nesting and concealment habitat for variety of ground nesting birds.
Basic eligibility requirements for both SAFE CRP and the Duck Nesting Habitat CRP include: land offered must have a crop history of four out of six years between 2008 and 2013; land must be compliant with USDA’s highly erodible land and wetland compliance provisions; and the applicant must have owned or operated the land for more than 12 months.
Previous SAFE acres available have been enrolled quickly and interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency to sign up. SAFE acres are enrolled on a continuous first come, first-served basis as long as the land being offered is eligible. If you have questions about these CRP enrollment options or others, visit http://habitat.sd.gov/advisors/default.aspx and contact a habitat advisor near you or your local Farm Service Agency.