South Dakota Grasslands Initiative


SDGI Quarterly Partner Newsletter

Stories, information  & opportunities from your partners in South Dakota Grassland Conservation


Just like the variety of plants and life on our native grasslands, South Dakota is filled with diverse partners playing a role in supporting those grasslands.   Learn about these partners on SD Grasslands Initiative’s podcast, Partners on the Prairie, where each episode will allow you to learn about those impacting South Dakota.

Interested in sharing about your organization through a Partners on the Prairie Podcast?  Fill out the form at this link.  

Partners on the Prairie Podcast

Jamie Risse and Jared Hohn with Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary share how they support goals of Presentation Sisters through restoring native grasslands and providing grassland education. Learn more at

Tanse Herrmann, state grazing lands soil health specialist for South Dakota NRCS, shares about what NRCS can offer for partners, and about how their Rainfall Simulator can be used to demonstrate the 5 soil health principles.

Tanse Hermann can be contacted directly at or (605) 515-9791. 

Travis Entenman, executive director of Northern Prairies Land Trust, shares how landowners can use Northern Prairies Land Trust’s voluntary conservation easements.


Bruce Toay, who manages the conservation programs in South Dakota, shares about the on the ground work that Ducks Unlimited offers in South Dakota.

Josh Lefers works with Audubon Great Plains which has a mission to protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. In South Dakota, much of his work focuses on programs to support grassland bird habitats.

Lori Brown, TNC riparian health program manager, and Joe Blastic, TNC Prairie Coteau conservation coordinator, share about The Nature Conservancy’s focus and work in South Dakota. 

Catherine Wightman, coordinator for Northern Great Plains Joint Venture, shares about the unique role that she and her team play to support the communities that depend on grasslands in South Dakota, and surrounding areas.

Clayton Lenk is the National Wild Turkey Federation biologist for several states, including South Dakota.  One key focus of the National Wild Turkey Federation is to maintain habitat for wild turkeys, as well as the many other species that depend on conservation.

South Dakota’s Game, Fish & Parks is perhaps one of the more well known entities in the state that is focused on preserving the habitat and species for South Dakota.  On this episode Mark Norton, Hunting Access & Farm Bill Coordinator, and Eric Magedanz, senior private lands habitat biologist, share about what GFP is doing, and what programs they offer for landowners & partners.

The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is a producer-led nonprofit, with a staff & board of individuals dedicated to their mission of promoting improved soil heath.  The Coalition director Cindy Zenk, and two board members, Shawn Freeland and Doug Sieck, shared about what the Soil Health Coalition is and some of the resources they provide.

Kurt Forman, South Dakota’s Partners for Fish & Wildlife Coordinator shares about this program. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land.

Kateri is one option for grassland producers looking for a company to help them make money with carbon credits for implementing sustainable practices.  James Hunt, project manager with Kateri, give an overview of the process, and why working grasslands are important to the carbon credit market.

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