Our Strategic Anchors

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Commitment to the Members – We were founded by the membership of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts, South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, and South Dakota Farm Bureau. We work to advance the conservation needs of South Dakota’s agricultural community. 

Commitment to Agricultural Lands and Agricultural Producers – We will focus on working agricultural lands conservation and the intergenerational transfer of those lands. This work will focus on conservation projects that benefit the sustainability of working agricultural lands, the landowners who steward them, and the natural resources they provide. We will ensure that our conservation and stewardship programs are a partnership with the landowner and are producer-centered.

Innovation – The field of conservation is constantly evolving. We will constantly strive to listen, learn, and innovate. We will be disciplined in taking sufficient time and putting the necessary resources forward to anticipate the conservation needs of the future and how we can best address those needs in a way that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit of private landowners.

Advocacy – We will advocate for new programs and incentives and changes to existing programs and incentives that make conservation a more appealing tool for agricultural producers. We will advocate for changes in law and policy to broaden the reach of conservation as an option for agricultural producers.

Easement Stewardship – Perpetual stewardship of our conservation holdings is our primary obligation. We will strive to ensure that our work brings confidence to the public about the effectiveness and importance of private land conservation. To this end, we will (1) continuously review and make adjustments to our stewardship program to ensure that we meet or exceed all standards for conservation stewardship and landowner inquiries; (2) respond quickly and effectively to stewardship issues; and (3) develop innovative and effective approaches to stewardship.

High Quality Conservation – We commit to setting the standard for conservation transactions throughout the country. We will work to ensure that we meet or exceed established standards for completing conservation transactions (i.e. Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices). At the same time, we will routinely evaluate our practices to ensure that they continue to work for agricultural landowners. We will also work to ensure that our practices protect the identified conservation values and endure any legal and physical changes that will inevitably occur over time.

Capacity Development and Commitment to Partners – We will invest in financial, human, and technological resources to grow the capacity of SDALT so that we can uphold our perpetual obligations and better deliver meaningful conservation outcomes that will benefit all current and future South Dakotans. All the while, we will be judicious stewards of SDALT’s resources.