About the District


Sand Lake Wetland Management District is located in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region, a prairie landscape marked by numerous wetlands. The Sand Lake WMD serves as a breeding and resting ground for migratory birds of all types. Providing quality habitat helps the district meet these needs. 


The Sand Lake Wetland Management District was created in 1961 to manage approximately 45,000 acres of Waterfowl Production Areas in 8 north central counties of South Dakota. Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) are lands purchased by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with funds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. Established to protect and restore waterfowl habitat, nearly 95% of WPAs are located in the Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains. District staff apply rotational grazing, haying, seeding, and prescribed burning practices to maintain and improve grasslands for nesting birds. In addition to Waterfowl Production Areas, the Sand Lake WMD also manages over 700,000 acres of easement lands. Wetland and grassland easements are legal agreements through which the Service pays landowners to permanently protect wetlands and grass. The Sand Lake Wetland Management District is the largest in the country. 

For more information regarding the district, Waterfowl Production Areas, or the easement program, contact the Sand Lake office.