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News Release

Medicine Creek Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS) Project

For Immediate Release
Andrew Thomason, Public Affairs Specialist
(605) 570-2625,

Dillon Blaha, Resource Unit Conservationist
(605) 224-8870,
Conservation Implementation Strategy Project 
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Environment Quality Incentives Program Applications Being Accepted Now Through December 11, 2020

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS), Huron, S.D., November 10, 2020  – The CIS project Medicine Creek will soon be underway in Hughes County, South Dakota (SD), serving the community and improving land and water quality. This 3-year project is one of 16 selected in Fiscal Year 2020 and federally-funded through the NRCS conservation programs of the 2018 Farm Bill. The purpose of this project is to improve soil health in the Medicine Creek basin and will be implemented by the Hughes County Conservation District (CD) and other partners in concert with landowners.  

Farmers/ranchers within the project areas are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The batching date deadline for applications is December 11, 2020

The NRCS conservation specialists and partners are coordinating these projects throughout the state. Through collectively focusing expertise and resources on the highest priority resource concerns in the highest priority areas, CIS projects can yield the most impressive returns. Collaborative funding and support from other agencies and groups create a coordinated community effort and focus on mutual issues of the highest priority. The Medicine Creek Project partners with the Hughes County CD and other partners to directly benefit soil and water quality. 

Project sponsors identified organic matter depletion, plant productivity and health, and water quality as resource concerns and developed this CIS project to address the situation. “Improving water quality effects all users in the downstream of Medicine Creek," says Dillon Blaha, Resource Unit Conservationist, Pierre, SD, "Involving producers at the local level is key to the success of the project."

To learn more about this project, contact Dillon Blaha. For more information on the CIS in SD, or if you have ideas for a project, contact Jeff Vander Wilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, at (605) 352-1226, via email at, or visit the CIS page under Farm Bill Programs on our SD NRCS Web site:

Specialists with the USDA NRCS are working and available by phone or e-mail while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. To apply, please contact your local NRCS office here: Farmers and ranchers can now start making in-person appointments at several USDA Service Centers across the country as part of USDA’s phased reopening process. Other USDA Service Centers remain open for business by phone appointment only.