Saving South Dakota: A crisis in grassland conversion…

Fort Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota
Fort Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota

If you read my post South Dakota is Dying and would like find out more about what’s happening in South Dakota, I suggest you read this excellent five-part series in the Capital Journal in Pierre, SD. It outlines what’s at stake, what’s changing across the state, and what may lie ahead for pheasant and other birds species in South Dakota. Here’s part 2 of 5:

Habitat in crisis: Conservationists worry about factors driving grassland conversion. By Allison Jarrell, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

The story of South Dakota since the 1862 Homestead Act has been in large part the story of converting grassland into cropland. It’s nothing new to sow wheat or corn where there once was grass. Drive along any East River highway and you’ll spot rocks plucked from beds of prairie grass or water draining from rich, dark soil.

But scientists studying satellite images of the western edge of the Corn Belt say something different is happening now…

Read all of this piece now.

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2 thoughts on “Saving South Dakota: A crisis in grassland conversion…

  1. This article definitely mirrors our experience during the past few years. Although there is not any information related to the devastating impact these changes are having on all species of upland birds it is very easy to see what the impact has to be on pheasants, sharptails, and prairie chickens. We saw very few pheasants this year and not one sharptail or chicken. Five years ago the same group on the same farms saw hundreds of all of them.

    I have also been comparing what is happening in South Dakota to what happened to Iowa ten years ago. It is interesting to see a detailed study that confirms this.

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