National conservation group Pheasants Forever has opened up shop in South Dakota in an effort to help combat the loss of the state's pheasant population that has dwindled in recent years as more habitat is converted to cropland.
Dave Nomsen has long served as vice president of government affairs for the nonprofit. Nomsen officially opened the group's first office in the state this week in Brookings at South Dakota State University.
Nomsen says seeing the significant decline in the pheasant population last season was a wake-up call for the group.
Travis Runia is a state game biologist. Runia says the lack of snow on the ground this winter and a relatively dry spring are good signs the population could be up this year.