Affiliate of the Week: South Dakota Wildlife Federation

In honor of our 80th Anniversary celebration throughout 2016, the National Wildlife Federation is recognizing each of our Affiliate Partners in a special “Affiliate of the Week” blog series that showcases the dedicated conservation efforts taking place across the country each day. This week we celebrate our affiliate, South Dakota Wildlife Federation, and their commitment to wildlife.

Who We Are

South Dakota Wildlife Federation is the state’s oldest conservation organization and the state’s only conservation organization actively involved in developing legislative policy that impacts outdoor sporting activities. SDWF actively works to:

  • Support managing the state’s wildlife using the best scientific information available to set limits and seasons
  • Allow public purchases of conservation lands from willing landowners to increase hunting opportunities
  • Use a percentage of license fees to build stack yards, fencing, and feed sites to decrease property damage caused by wildlife
  • Oppose commercializing and privatizing wildlife and closing roads to public lands and public waters
  • Maintain the acreage limit for landowners to get big game tags and stop landowners from transferring big game tags
  • Stop the legislature from managing the Game, Fish and Parks budget
  • Allow Game Wardens access to private property for game checks
Young mountain lion. Photo by SDWF

What We Do

For over seventy years, SDWF has been leading the fight to protect the interests of South Dakota’s current and future outdoor sports enthusiasts. Its political arm, the Camo Coalition, employs two full-time lobbyists to monitor legislative action concerning South Dakota’s outdoor recreation. SDWF also works closely with the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Department to develop wildlife management policies.

SDWF is committed to monitoring current issues facing South Dakota’s natural resources and the opportunity to hunt and fish in the state. As issues arise that need attention, they will send action alerts to provide the facts so people can voice their opinions to the appropriate decision makers.

Kids canoeing. Photo by SDWF
Kids canoeing. Photo by SDWF

To help the next generation learn about conservation, SDWF’s Youth Conservation Camp sends teenagers on a week-long adventure to the beautiful Black Hills, where they learn to hunt, fish, and enjoy the great outdoors. Since the first camp was held in 1964, thousands of South Dakota youth have experienced the excitement of outdoor sports while learning the importance of conserving our natural resources.

Making a National Impact

SDWF’s local and state work helps ensure important natural amenities remain vital. The state’s pothole wetlands and native prairies are nationally significant ecological features that provide homes and important migratory stopovers for many bird species and other wildlife.

Farms provide habitat for wildlife like owls. Photo by SDWF

SDWF makes a difference on national issues by working with their Congressional delegation and federal wildlife and land management agencies to promote sound conservation policies regarding the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill, which greatly impacts South Dakota directly and provides crucial federal conservation funding for habitat and wildlife.

SDWF and many of the National Wildlife Federation’s other affiliates joined together and activated support to ensure that strong funding for wildlife was included in the final Agricultural Act of 2014. SDWF also plays a significant role in other federal issues including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Public Trust issues, and many more.

Get Involved

Archery at the Youth Conservation Camp. Photo by SDWF

Imagine sending a high schooler you love on a week-long adventure where they can learn about conservation as well as hunt, fish, and enjoy the great outdoors in the beautiful Black Hills! This once-in-a-lifetime experience, the Youth Conservation Camp, is sponsored by the South Dakota Wildlife Federation. This year’s camp will take place from June 4 to 11.

Reservations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis until the camp quota is filled. To reserve a spot, please send in the mail the Camp Application Form and a check for $325 to Mike McKernan, Camp Director at PO Box 246, Murdo, SD 57559. Scholarships and sponsorships for camp may be available. Contact Mike at 605-669-2829 for more information.

Connect with SDWF

Connect with the South Dakota Wildlife Federation to get their latest news and keep up with their conservation efforts through Facebook, Website, and by signing up for their legislative action alerts.