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Wildlife Damage Management Strategic Plan Available for Public Comment

PIERRE, S.D. – In May 2019, the South Dakota Governor’s Office selected the Wildlife Management Institute to conduct an independent, 10-year historical review of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks’ comprehensive Wildlife Damage Management (WDM) program. As a result of this review and staff discussions, Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) developed a strategic plan specific to the issues of wildlife damage management and GFP is seeking input on the plan.


The WDM strategic plan includes three overarching goals:

  • Provide excellent customer service and program transparency.
  • Foster landowner relations while enhancing communications.
  • Mitigate livestock and property loss through effective delivery of wildlife damage program services.


Within each of these goals is a number of strategies and associated action items to identify specific tasks and expected completion dates. Much of the plan centers on increasing outreach and public input opportunities, as well as measuring customer satisfaction. Other action items address training and mentoring staff, prioritizing staff time on specific duties and ongoing aggressive and preventative coyote removal to reduce livestock loss.


“Hearing from the landowners and producers who use these services is key to developing these goals,” said John Kanta, terrestrial section chief for GFP. “Our department has provided several opportunities to receive input throughout the year, so we believe we have a solid draft plan right now. This public comment period will allow us to formally finalize the plan through the GFP Commission process.”


Over the course of 2020, GFP held four regional virtual listening sessions seeking public input. A virtual meeting was also held in September with the Animal Damage Control Advisory Committee to review the plan and gather input. The current draft plan was presented to the GFP Commission at their December meeting and public comments can be submitted through Feb. 14.


To view the plan, visit gfp.sd.gov/landowner-programs. To provide a comment, visit gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions.