SDALT will work with landowners to conserve South Dakota’s agricultural heritage and working landscapes for the benefit of future generations.
SDALT is an agriculture-focused land trust, led by agricultural producers who understand South Dakota farming and ranching. Drawing from 22 years of experience of other ag-focused land trusts across the west, SDALT will use their best practices to deliver meaningful conservation solutions to South Dakota producers.
Across the west, agricultural land trusts are conserving hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land, in partnership with landowners. Key to this success is the ability to understand and meet the goals and values of those partners. We are committed to personal, honest, and open relationships with our partners and the general public.
In 2017, leaders of the SD Cattlemen’s Association began exploring the possibility of establishing an ag-focused land trust in South Dakota, patterned after similar land trusts in other states.
A feasibility study completed in November 2017 showed that South Dakota landowners could benefit from the products and services of an agriculture-based land trust. Today, there is essentially no functioning statewide land trust or other entity that is qualified to work with conservation partners such as Natural Resources Conservation Service to meet the demand from landowners (NRCS receives approximately 200 inquiries per year about its conservation easement programs) and conserve our state’s natural resources.
The core focus of the SDALT will be education and outreach, and delivering voluntary conservation solutions that work for ag producers. SDALT will work with landowners to facilitate and hold voluntary and perpetual conservation easements, as well as provide certain estate planning services that relate directly to conservation easements.
SDALT will monitor and steward conservations, and will provide services related to payment for ecosystem services programs. In short, SDALT will be another tool available for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers in achieving their conservation goals.