Conservation part of DSU curriculum
DSU’s Kristel Bakker and a group of DSU students participated in a bird watching tour this summer on the Headley Ranch near White Lake. Bakker is an associate professor in the Dakota State University College of Arts and Science.
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, working in collaboration with partners including Dakota State University, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service, and local conservation districts, sponsors the tour.
Every year USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Dakota joins partners to coordinate a bird watching tour on a farm or ranch that participates in one of their voluntary conservation programs.
This year’s tour was held in June on the Headley Ranch, near White Lake. It was hosted by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, a group that reaches out to both producers and non-agriculture audiences to raise awareness about the science of conservation and management of grasslands. Over 30 birding enthusiasts and producers attended.
Headley Ranch is a unique ranching operation that implements conservation practices to support diverse livestock, crops, and wildlife. During the tour, NRCS and other technical specialists were on hand to show participants how cattle can improve the environment and identify birds and plants. They also talked about habitat restoration efforts, explained how the banding of birds for scientific monitoring works, and ran kids’ activities.