Brothers James (front) and Russell and Cheryl (back) Tesch (pictured above) entered into an agreement with Northern Prairies Land Trust (NPLT) on August 14, 2007 to permanently remove livestock and row crop production from their land along the Big Sioux River near Estelline, SD. The brothers own land adjacent to each other along the Big Sioux River and have decided to protect their land and the water of the Big Sioux River by enrolling buffer strips (up to 150 ft from the river bank) into the Big Sioux River Conservation Easement Program. They will continue to operate a cow/calf operation utilizing a rotational grazing system established to replace lost pasture ground within the buffer strip easement. Fencing and an alternate watering source was cost shared to make this new and improved system a reality.
Jerry Kiihl of Castlewood, SD, placed a permanent easement on 36.5 acres of land along the Big Sioux River on December 11, 2007 through the Big Sioux River Conservation Easement Program. This easement was worth $51,980.57 and was paid for with funds from the Big Sioux River Watershed Project which is managed by the East Dakota Water Development District. Jerry will utilize the buffer strip for wildlife habitat, thereby protecting the banks of the Big Sioux River and filtering runoff from adjacent ground.
The goal of the Big Sioux River Watershed Project is to reduce fecal coliform bacteria and sediment loadings into the Big Sioux River by re-establishing and protecting natural buffer strips along major drainages and improving waste management from animal feeding operations.
Maxine and Vincent Bruggeman (shown above with Angela Guidry and Pat Anderson) placed a 30-year conservation easement on property adjacent to Willow Creek in Codington County in September of 2007. This represents the first conservation easement under the Big Sioux River Conservation Easement Program in Codington County. The Bruggeman's increased their income with this property by first placing a USDA funded buffer strip on the property before the conservation easement. The Bruggeman's will receive annual rental payments for the USDA program for 15 years in addition to the payment for the conservation easement.