I’m sure most, if not all of you, remember a phase used in 1992 by James Carville, a campaign strategist for a presidential candidate. He coined the phrase, “it’s the economy, s****d” and this was repeated over and over during the campaign for what became a successful bid for the White House. I wonder if those of us working in land conservation need to think about employing such an approach?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Small Wetlands Acquisition Program perpetually protected almost 350,000 wetland acres and over one million grassland acres through conservation easements from 1987 through 2015. In addition, over 250,000 acres of land has been purchased in fee title and these lands are open to the public and provide recreational opportunities.
Like all good ideas, the Honey Bee and Monarch Butterfly Partnership started with a seed. More exactly, a diverse mix of seeds. This new voluntary conservation program distributes seed mixes to landowners, creating high diversity habitat for pollinating insects and upland birds on private lands.
As the South Dakota Prairie Butterfly Garden enters its fourth growing season, the perennial plants are spreading out of their original plots, making the garden appear like a South Dakota prairie. This outdoor learning area for adults and kids focuses on pollinators and the plants that sustain them. It is a place where people can get outside and discover how butterflies live, growing their understanding and appreciation of the conservation efforts involved with declining wildlife.
Established in 1937, DU has conserved more than 13.6 million acres of waterfowl habitat, thanks to partners and supporters across the continent. Today, the Great Plains Region office in Bismarck, N.D. works with landowners and partners to conserve grasslands and wetlands in the “Duck Factory.”