"Protecting wildlife species in a way that keeps them from being classified as endangered or threatened is good for South Dakota property owners, farmers, ranchers, and conservationists," said Thune. "I am proud to work with the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department to promote policies that balance the needs of wildlife populations with the needs of South Dakota’s environment and economic growth."
Senator Thune recently lead a bipartisan group of 38 Senators in requesting adequate funding for the North American Wildlife Conservation Act, which provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife.
In March, Senator Thune received the Federal Elected Official Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award from Ducks Unlimited in recognition of his leadership on wildlife habitat preservation and waterfowl conservation. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Thune was actively involved in crafting and expanding the conservation programs in the 2008 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill reauthorized and expanded the Conservation Reserve Program, which has worked with agricultural producers in South Dakota to preserve gamebird habitats in South Dakota. The Farm Bill also expanded the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Grasslands Reserve Program, which also protect duck and pheasant habitats in South Dakota.