Pheasant hunting season brings a lot of visitors and money to the state and a national group working to keep the birds thriving met in Pierre this week.
"I think it comes down to partnerships. We recognize that we can't do this ourselves," Pheasants Forever president Howard Vincent said.
Leaders of the conservation group Pheasants Forever joined conservation officials from multiple states. Through presentations and discussions, they touched on habitat for the birds disappearing whether that’s due to less CRP or fewer shelter belts.
"As agriculture intensifies and land values sky rocket, we need to find a place for wildlife, a place for wildlife conservation," Pheasants Forever vice president Dave Nomsen said.
The economic impact is one reason the group says states need a wildlife habitat. The hunting season brings millions of dollars into South Dakota.
Both Vincent and Nomsen say they don't want to be seen as competition to farmers as they work to get more conservation land for wildlife.
"Pheasants and farmers are hand in hand. We can work with farmers. When we're doing good habitat projects those farmers and landowners are benefiting," Nomsen said.
Nomsen and Vincent argue there are a lot of opportunities for farmers to work a bulk of their land but leave small, less productive portions for wildlife. They want to see partnerships formed with a variety of people ranging from local landowners to the federal government.