posted on June 15, 2016 01:51
It’s been about four months since Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced Habitat Pays. The initiative is a one-stop shop for property owners who are looking to transform land into wildlife habitat. Now the state Game, Fish and Parks Department officials are attempting to ramp up the interest by providing education and awareness for the available conservation programs.
Through a series of ‘Habitat University’ workshops, landowners can be guided through the Habitat Pays website and connected to conservation experts. GF&P Habitat Resource Biologist Andy Gabbert, who is one of the key figures behind the new initiative, hopes that these workshops can help generate significant interest in conservation.
"I think the problem with all of the conservation programs is it’s kind of been a problem to figure out who does what, and it was confusing for sure," Gabbert was recently quoted when discussing the wide assortment of habitat conservation options available. "And so now, having this Habitat University and having Habitat Pays on one website, it gives people one source to look at for programs that are available for conservation."
There will be four meetings of the Habitat University. These will be held at the department’s Southeastern Region at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. If these workshops prove to be a success and worthwhile, then the program could target other highly populated areas such as Aberdeen, Chamberlain, Pierre or Rapid City.
The first workshop will be held from 7pm to 9pm on Feb 18. It will generate the highest interest according to those running the meeting. Attending will be feature representatives from a wide variety of conservation related organizations. Confirmed attendees include officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnehaha County Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Pheasants Forever.
With so many options for conservation available to landowners, the Habitat Universities will be a good opportunity for those interested to discover what options are right for them. As Gabbert has stated, no one program has received more interest than the others available. The final option is always dependent on what interests the landowner.
Will you attend a Habitat University? What would you like to get out of it?
Let us know in the comments below.