The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers a suite of voluntary private landowner programs focused on maintaining a profitable ranching lifestyle while providing wildlife habitat. We work with a wide variety of partners to implement high priority wetland and grassland conservation projects. Of particular importance is our work with ranchers to conserve grasslands for future generations of both landowners and wildlife. This priority scheme is consistent with and fulfills the implementation priorities denoted by a wide variety of conservation efforts including the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the South Dakota Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Plan and Partners in Flight. For example, the Partners in Flight plan for western South Dakota states that: "Maintenance of a ranching economy here is compatible with the needs of grassland birds and should be the highest conservation priority."
The five primary restoration and enhancement activities in the South Dakota Partners Program include water developments, wetland restorations, grazing systems, native grass plantings, and conservation easements.
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Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) are parcels of land purchased with funds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. These lands are managed to provide high quality migratory bird habitat and are open to the public for hunting and other wildlife-dependent activities.