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News Release

South Dakota NRCS Awards 17 Conservation Implementation Strategy Projects


Andrew Thomason, Public Affairs Specialist
(605) 570-2625 |

Jeff Vander Wilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
(605) 352-1226 |

Jennifer Wurtz, EQIP Coordinator
(605) 352-1225 |

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) Huron, S.D. June 29, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) serving South Dakota has announced project selections for funding through the Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS). Laura Broyles, Acting State Conservationist, Huron, says, “The CIS projects are locally planned to develop a project that targets their local high priority natural resource concerns, resulting in a measurable improvement of our resources.”

Through the CIS, local projects are coordinated with partners to leverage their shared resources to focus on issues of mutual concern. “This year we were pleased to see the variety of proposals and the quality of the planning that went into them,” says Broyles.

The Fiscal Year 2021 CIS projects selected are:  The Concentrated Animal Feed Operations Project in southeast Clark and southwest Hamlin County; The Clear Lake and Hidewood Creek Water Quality Project in Deuel County; The Streambank Stabilization Project in Ziebach County; The Flood Damage and Repair-Whetstone River and North Fork of Yellow Rank River in Grant County; The Hot Springs Wildfire and Forest Pest Mitigation Project in Custer and Fall River Counties; The Jasper Area Fire Project in Pennington County; The Minnehaha Sustainable Ag Initiative in northeastern Minnehaha County; The Oakwood Lakes Project in Northern Brookings County; The Oglala Livestock Water Development Project in Oglala Lakota County; The Pierre Creek Project in Hanson County; The Rangeland Riparian Health in Custer County; The Rapid Creek Water Restoration in Pennington County; The Resilience Strategy for Grazing Land Management in Beadle County; The Resilient Forest Landscapes Project in Meade County; The Resilient Forests Project in Meade County; The Sharptailed Grouse Project in Campbell, McPherson, Walworth, Edmunds, Marshall, Day, Roberts, Grant, Codington, and Deuel Counties; and The Vermilion River Project in Clay County.

Funding through NRCS Farm Bill programs will begin early in FY2022 with the implementation set to start that same year. “These projects will target specific resource concerns and provide targeted outcomes that will affect all South Dakotans” says Jeff Vander Wilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs. For more information on CIS in South Dakota or on any individual CIS project, visit the CIS webpage at, keyword search “CIS.”

Since the projects are tailored to the local area, each awarded project will independently announce their application deadline batching date at least 30 days prior.

Anyone interested in a current or future CIS project should connect with the NRCS at their local USDA Service Center. Questions about the CIS should be directed to Jeff Vander Wilt at or Environmental Quality Incentives Program Coordinator Jennifer Wurtz at

The USDA’s Service Centers are open for business. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners can call or e-mail to make in-person appointments. Find and contact your local NRCS Service Center at