SD Waterfowlers Urgent Notice 12/23/08

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SD Waterfowlers Urgent Notice 12/23/08

Postby feathhd » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:11 am

Folks I strongly encourage you to read this report on SD sod saver provision. It is meant to protect native prairie in our nations most vital waterfowl production habitat region.

I hope that everyone reads this and as a waterfowler contact the SD Governor on the issue. Maybe if the SDFB doesn't understand why this region is more important than others, maybe you as a waterfowler of South Dakota can educate your Governor.

Over 70 plus years in the region WE HAVE spent trying to protect waterfowl production habitat and the SDFB doesn't understand why this region is more vital than others? Where the hell have they been?

I think as a waterfowling community, maybe we should advise the Governor because we have known why for years. Below is the report and I am mad as hell at their attempt to dilute the purpose of South Dakotas Sod Saver Provision and you should be to.

Sod Saver

The Sod Saver provision of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
includes an option allowing state governors in the nation's prairie pothole
region to decide whether or not to elect into the program. Under Sod
Saver, if Governor Rounds decides to opt into the program, native sod
acreage in all of eastern South Dakota that is tilled for production of an
annual crop will be ineligible for crop insurance and non-insured crop
disaster assistance during the first 5 crop years of planting. Nothing in
the provision at this point affects any land west of the Missouri River.

Because of several concerns with the way the interim Sod Saver
rule has been presented, SDFB encourages you to contact the governor and
urge him to not opt in to Sod Saver. You may contact the governor's

Office of the Governor

500 E Capitol Avenue

Pierre, SD 57501


Or by going online at

While SDFB recognizes the need to preserve and protect selected
native sod including tall-, mixed- and short-grass prairie, there are
concerns that the Sod Saver section of the Farm Bill will fall far short of
accomplishing its intended goal.

Some concerns are:

1) The definition for native sod is: Acreage on which the plant cover
is composed principally of native grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or
shrubs suitable for grazing and browsing, and that has no record of being
tilled (determined in accordance with FSA records) for the production of an
annual crop on or before May 22, 2008. This definition would allow brome
grass, downy brome and any other grass-like plant to be declared native
sod. The intent is to protect tall-, mixed-, and short-grass prairie. The
definition should identify the grasses in those prairies, such as big
bluestem, Indian grass, green needle grass, blue gamma grass, buffalo
grass, little blue stem, etc. A specific list of criteria must be developed
for native sod before this program is put into effect.

2) Placing FSA in the position of determining if the soil has been
tilled in the past without an appeals process for the producer is
unacceptable. FSA records are available for only the last 30 to 40 years
while the land has been operated for at least 100 years. With the current
definition of native sod and no appeals rights, any grass area that does
not have a farm number and a field number will be native sod. This goes
far beyond the intent of the conference committee and the managers.

3) The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is posted on a website, in the
interim rule. The specific counties affected should be identified in the
rule. Maps and the website can be changed, causing unintended consequence
for producers. Why is the area in the PPR of more concern than other areas
in the state and nation? It is impossible to explain to producers that
native sod in the PPR is a higher priority than native sod in other parts
of the state.

1) The interim rule provides for the election of the governor in a
state designated within the Prairie Pothole National Priority Area to
participate or not. Is this a one-time election? How long is the election
in effect? One year, five years, or forever? What happens in two years
when we have a new governor who may disagree with the current decision? It
is possible for the new governor to opt out or elect to join in at that

We are joining other agricultural groups in encouraging Governor Rounds to
not opt into the Sod Saver Provision. Instead, we recommend an
incentive-based program to help preserve tall-, mixed-, and short-grass
prairies in the entire state of South Dakota, as opposed to the current sod
saver program for the PPR. We suggest it would be better to offer a pilot
program or a CREP as an incentive to not break the native sod. Producers
who have gone out of the livestock business are limited in the use of the
land under Sod Saver. The producer will make decisions based on his or her
operation needs, not disincentives for change because he or she lives in
the PPR.


We know what it's all about and have for over 7O years. However SDFB in my opinion is trying very hard to dilute the focus of Sod Saver in South Dakota. This as you know will have devastating impacts to waterfowl production habitat and ultimately waterfowl populations as we know it.

To us it's about saving the best of the best before it's destroyed and lost forever!

The argument here that needs to be made is from WE the Waterfowler.
We need to do what it is we can to make certain we Protect our last remaining most productive native prairie waterfowl production habitat. We must advocate loud and clear why this is important and why the PPR is the priority from our perspective.

We seriously need to stand up and defend what's vital to our futures. Make those e mails folks and phone calls.

It needs to be done or forever will our futures be changed.

Make those calls folks all the way to Feb or until he ops in.

Bill Smith
Region 5 Waterfowler
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: NW IOWA

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Postby Kurt » Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:01 am

If we are trying to get some thing through to the G&F we are in trouble. They never listen to anything we have to say and are the all mighty all knowing. Hope they pull there head out of there butt and find a way to save a bunch of this land. But with the relations they have with land owners in my area we are screwed.
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Postby feathhd » Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:11 am

All you can do as a waterfowler is do your part if you can. Make e mail contact or phone contact and advise them to OPT IN.

Pass the information along to your friends you hunt with and ask them to make that call as well. Every little bit helps in situations such as these.

What PMO is that the SDFB doesn't know why this is a priority region? You have got to be kidding me right? They know why and for them to publiclly state the question as they did, is the stupidist thing I have ever read in my life.

Did they not got through the big debate over CRP acres? I think they did and so they know why this prairie is the most vital in the region. They must think we are absolutely stupid. If thats not the case then I suspect they are banking on others in goverment to be the stupids ones.

Like I said. All you can do to help in the fight is make that phone call and drop that e mail.

Again I thank you for your time and certainly your help in this battle.

Bill Smith
Region 5 Waterfowler
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: NW IOWA

Postby Threecar » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:29 am


Maybe you should post this in a forum that gets more attention (Conservation). Most people don't understand what this means. Getting fellow hunters from out of state could have an impact on the governors office. This effects everyone on this site.
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Postby feathhd » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:54 am

I did post it on some other open forum pages so that a lot from all over could respond and help SD waterfowlers.

Please feel free to take the information and post it to other forums or pass it along to others. Right now the SDFB is kicking us in the teeth on this issue and we need to fight back with what ever we can.
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: NW IOWA

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