Quick Reads

White House grants $1M to improve some South Dakota habitat, $142M nationwide

By: - November 11, 2022 12:25 pm

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Two grants from the White House totaling just over $1.1 million aim to improve some habitat in South Dakota.

The grants are two of 55 from the White House’s America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC), a public-private partnership for habitat conservation. The 55 new grants total  $142 million nationwide.

Audubon Dakota is the recipient of a $556,200 grant for South Dakota. The money will sustain two positions in the Great Plains: a range ecologist and a grassland technician. The two will help farmers and ranchers implement more sustainable grassland management practices – such as prairie restoration, prescribed burns, and regenerative agriculture.

Additionally, the  Rosebud Economic Development Corporation was awarded a $552,600 grant to fund “phase one” of the Wakpala Woicageyapi community project. That work includes an ecological assessment and trail system for the 600-acre site. The ultimate plan is to build affordable homes around a community garden and gathering place. 

Wildlife knows no border

Other regional projects include $443,600 for moose habitat restoration in northeastern Minnesota. And a $5 million grant to restore wetlands and streams, remove invasive plants from habitats, and perform native prairie seeding in Nebraska.

South Dakota’s neighbor to the west took in the most conservation cash. 

A Montana organization received a $833,300 grant to fund a forest invasive species specialist position and another $813,800 for tools to combat forest invasive species. Montana tribes will get nearly $5 million for bison ecosystem resiliency projects, with the Blackfeet Nation receiving an additional $1 million grant to implement a broader conservation strategy on the tribe’s northwest Montana lands.

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Joshua Haiar
Joshua Haiar

Joshua Haiar is a reporter based in Sioux Falls. Born and raised in Mitchell, he joined the Navy as a public affairs specialist after high school and then earned a degree from the University of South Dakota. Prior to joining South Dakota Searchlight, Joshua worked for five years as a multimedia specialist and journalist with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.