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27

South Dakotan outdoorsman, Tony Dean is still providing to young hunters even after he died seven years ago.

The outdoorsman co-produced numerous award winning radio and television programs. After his death, those closest to him compiled a couple of programs to ensure his legacy would not be forgotten. One of these programs was the Tony Dean’s Acres. This is a program where land is bought within the state for wildlife management, conservation and to allow public hunting.

The second program is known as the Tony and Dar Dean Outdoor Education Fund. This program provides grants to groups who want to teach children aspects of conservation and land management. The grants can only be applied for in South Dakota.

John Cooper, who was one of Dean’s friends and is now the chairman of South Dakota’s state Game, Fish and Parks Commission and the rest of those who set up the funds, knew that one program had to be about buying land and the other had to be an educational fund.

Cooper stated that the education fund was something that had been planned even before Dean’s death. As Dean thought, education about conservation was one of the best ways to get “conservation on the ground”.

“We thought it would be good to start a foundation to get grant organizations to recognize that conservation education was needed,” Cooper said.

There are a number of reasons why the foundation never materialised while Dean was alive. The opportunity to purchase land and set up the education fund only became available after Dean’s death.

Since the fund was started, there have been awards to numerous projects including a pheasant biology class.

The fund currently only has $20,000 left to award. Awards are often $4,000 each. The foundation hasn’t been able to raise any funds because they have been actively working on major projects.

Have you benefited from an award? Has a member of your family?

Let us know in the comments below.


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