Over 1.9 million trees were planted for conservation purposes across South Dakota during Fiscal Year 2007 according Resource Conservationist Greg Yapp of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Huron, S.D.
This cooperative effort made progress toward solving erosion problems as well as improving the quality of the soil, water, air, plant and animal resources, he says.
NRCS, conservation districts and other partners helped landowners put trees on over 4,600 acres of South Dakota's agricultural landscape.
The South Dakota NRCS Tree Planting Report is an historical record annually documenting the work being done by conservation groups.
"Everyone involved in this year's tree planting effort, from the growing of nursery stock, to the planning, to the actual planting, can be very proud of their accomplishments," says Yapp. Typically, conservation districts across the state perform the actual planting and NRCS has provided the technical assistance for designing the planting. However, in recent years, cooperating partners such as Pheasants Forever, watershed projects and the SD Association of Conservation Districts, are helping address the workload.
In South Dakota, more than 535 miles of field windbreaks were planted this year. "That's enough trees to follow Interstate 90, starting at Sioux Falls, going to Rapid City and almost back to Chamberlain," says Yapp. "This is an impressive agroforestry effort for the state of South Dakota."
There are a lot of different reasons for planting a trees, says Yapp, including improving water quality, addressing erosion problems, providing wildlife habitat, or, simply, energy savings.
"South Dakota has a strong tradition of incorporating agroforestry into our agriculture enterprise," Yapp says. "Planting the right tree, in the right place, to solve resource concerns is what we do best."
For information about field windbreaks, farmstead and feedlot windbreaks, riparian forest buffers, living snow fences and wildlife plantings, or other options for resource conservation on their land, check with their local USDA Service Center.