Starting July 1st, A South Dakota Habitat Fee will be assessed to hunters and anglers.
This new fee will be required for all residents and nonresidents 18 years or older purchasing a hunting, fishing, or furbearer license. Funds from the habitat fee will be used to develop habitat specifically on public lands in South Dakota. The annual fee will be $10 for residents and $25 for non-residents.
The fee will not be assessed for the following: landowner hunting license, youth hunting license, one-day hunting or fishing license, and private shooting preserve license. Additionally, Hunt for Habitat entries, preference points, and purchasing a park entrance license or camping reservation will also be exempt.
Sportsmen who purchase the stamp should note that there is no physical stamp they need to carry with them. Once the stamp is purchased for the year, there is nothing more that a person needs to do.
Outdoor enthusiasts not purchasing a hunting or fishing license can still support habitat improvements by donating to the Second Century Habitat Fund or the Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
“We often see wildlife populations directly related to the amount and type of habitat on the landscape. Improving the habitat we have, and providing access to that habitat is a win-win for everyone . photographers, birders, kayakers, anglers, and hunter. everyone who loves the outdoors.” – wildlife division director Tom Kirschenmann
How will the funds be Divided?
The funds will be allocated towards initiatives similar to the license fees from which they came. For example, projects like food plots, and forage planting will be paid for by funds associated with hunting license sales.
Likewise, fishing license sales will go towards funding aquatic habitat projects on public waters across the state. Dam maintenance, boat dock repairs, sediment removals/controls are a few examples of projects the fees will fund.
Other states have been assessing similar fees for years. This has resulted in multiple successfully completed projects. Colorado, who implemented a habitat stamp program in 2006, has used the funding to conserve key wildlife habitat.
So, What are your thoughts on this new South Dakota habitat fee? Are there specific projects you’d like to see the funds used for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.