At least 101 species in South Dakota are at risk to Republicans.
Diving ducks like the Canvasback, Redhead, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup and the Common Goldeneye feed on the invasive zebra mussels that have been plaguing the main stem dams in the Missouri River since at least 2004. The pesky mussels compete with paddlefish and other native species like the pallid sturgeon. Only now have the Commissioners for South Dakota's Game, Fish and Plunder implemented mandatory boat inspections after failing the control of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
• The commission needs to be elected, not appointed. We need people on the commission that not only know which state they actually live in, but more importantly, we need people that know the difference between governing and ruling!
• We need a complete change at the top management level of the SDGFP. Their emphasis should be on how we can increase wildlife populations and habitat, and stop using our natural resources as a supplemental insurance policy for the state’s budget. [A Vote Of No Confidence, Greg Fischer, Lake City]
The death of the Missouri River ecosystem in South Dakota began with the European invasion, was accelerated by the Homestake Mining Company and sealed with the construction of the main stem dams.
Not many South Dakotans have prospered as professional fishermen, but there was a time when you could make a living by clamming on the James, Big Sioux and Vermillion rivers. The clam industry dwindled in the 1940s due to over-harvesting, environmental changes in the rivers and, of course, the invention of plastic buttons. Huge fish were also reported by dam-builders when the reservoirs were built along the Missouri. Some divers saw fish 15 feet long floating at the bottom of the muddy river. [Katie Hunhoff]
South Dakota's earth hater junior US senator is leading a crusade to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from identifying non-point sources of pollution deposited into watersheds by his GOP donors.
Most East River lakes are eutrophic shit holes filled with toxic algae and unable to even support fish populations so the Prairie Pothole Region is becoming increasingly threatened by the encroachment of industrial agriculture but more irrigation means pumping fossil water from depleted aquifers mainly recharged by the Prairie Pothole Region.
So once again the feds are bailing out the locals this time through a grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, a part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service but instead of native bison We the People will pay a few welfare ranchers to run domestic livestock on some of it.
Soil Health Initiative funds will be open to eastern South Dakota landowners interested in establishing cover crops, diversifying crop rotations, reducing tillage, conserving wetlands and planting grasslands. The grant also includes funds for various wetland restoration and protection projects, including the acquisition of conservation easements from willing landowners. The grant and partner contributions will enhance more than 30,000 acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats in eastern South Dakota, benefiting waterfowl, ring-necked pheasants, white-tailed deer, songbirds, waterbirds and a wide variety of other wildlife species. [Farm Forum]
Under President Obama the US Environmental Protection Agency had been taking steps to reverse the effects of nitrogen pollution in the Prairie Pothole Region; but, South Dakota's Republican At-large US Representative Kristi Noem says to hell with that. She has even outlined radical steps to preserve habitat for the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, an introduced species that crowds out native wild turkeys.
GF&P may have been interested in science at some point in its past but like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and as revenues collapse the eventual extirpation of mountain lions from the Black Hills looks like a given. Under pressure from the Humane Society of the United States the South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder Commission did reverse itself on hunting cougars with weaponized dogs.
During one season a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten in the Black Hills. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year. That particular incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol mixed with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages.
Robust aspen habitat on the Black Hills and a healthy cougar population are connected and critical to ruffed grouse survival. Humans tampering with the ecosystem has resulted in a trophic cascade where the slaughter of cougars has allowed mesopredators like coyotes and bobcats to flourish only to depress grouse numbers.
Horrifying but the reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and public lands grazing funnel into a region smothering under single-party rule.
The bird is not wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered corn mine. Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants don't eat grasshoppers but wild geese and turkeys sure do while the pesticide industry that greases Republican politicos don't give a whit about anything but profit. South Dakota's legislature is dominated by Republicans who ignore the effects of the Anthropocene and lobbyists line up to stuff their pockets with cash.
Add the extirpation of apex predators, the resulting rise of mesopredators, increasing numbers of domestic dogs and cats then stir in a melange of industrial chemicals with climate change and voila: red state collapse on parade!
If you plan to eat any non-native birds like the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant be sure to have the meat tested at a lab independent of the State of South Dakota for glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFOs, E. coli, Shigella and Legionella.