The Second Century Initiative
As much as pheasant season is a family tradition for us, we made it our family business for years as well, running a hunting lodge in northeastern South Dakota. Small businesses like that come alive during Pheasant Season, as resident and non-resident bird hunters spend nearly a quarter-billion dollars in South Dakota.
As we celebrate 100 years of pheasant hunting, I give you a commitment that if elected governor, I would fight to ensure this family tradition and driver of our economy lasts a century more.
IT’S ABOUT HABITAT…
I am proud our family has prime pheasant habitat on some of our land. We’ve fought to preserve those grounds over the years and have long participated in the CRP program. But as land values have increased, areas like this have begun to disappear, gravely impacting pheasant populations. In fact, statewide pheasant populations have fallen 65 percent in the last decade.
For this reason, I fought for and won sodsaver protections in the 2014 Farm Bill, which help preserve our region’s native grasslands. Additionally, I continue to push federal policymakers to enhance CRP through the Farm Bill. As governor, I will expand habitat and pheasant hunting opportunities in South Dakota through my Second Century Initiative.
- Increase resources for habitat management – without raising taxes. Maintaining and improving habitat is essential to the future of pheasant hunting in South Dakota. We can invest in habitat management, and we can do so without raising taxes by broadening the base of support in a multitude of ways, including:
- Working with the Division of Motor Vehicles and Game, Fish and Parks to develop a specialty pheasant license plate program in which all proceeds would go directly toward habitat management.
- Directing Game, Fish and Parks to explore outside-the-box, voluntary funding solutions, such as an expanded Premium Guest Tag program, in which a limited number of non-resident tags would be reserved at premium pricing. Programs like this have proven exceptionally lucrative in neighboring states. All proceeds would again go directly to habitat.
- Crowd source habitat solutions. Pheasant hunting is a statewide tradition with statewide economic impact, so maintaining and growing the industry requires statewide involvement. Taking advantage of online capabilities, my administration will expand the capabilities at habitat.sd.gov to ensure every South Dakotan, not just those on assigned advisory boards or in Pierre, can directly contribute to the policymaking process. Should your ideas be implemented, your hunting license fees for that year ought to be waived as well.
- Target predators, while inspiring the next generation of South Dakota hunters. While habitat has the most significant impact on pheasant populations, predators (such as foxes, skunks, and raccoons ) play a role as well. My administration will collaborate with counties to explore a bounty on pheasant predators in prime hunting areas, using the program to reduce threatening varmint populations and to help inspire the next generation of hunters to be part of this South Dakota legacy.
- Maintain habitat management as a national priority. As a top negotiator of the 2014 Farm Bill, I fought to enhance CRP, and when the Obama administration accepted just 101 acres into CRP in South Dakota in 2016, I fought back. I will take up that same cause as South Dakota’s governor. Working in partnership with groups like Pheasants Forever, I will leverage the relationships I have around the country to win over CRP and habitat advocates in Congress, the administration, the Republican Governors Association, and the National Governors Association. This broad base of support is essential in maintaining federal programs like CRP.
- Serve as Sportsman in Chief for South Dakota Pheasant Hunting. In 2016, 81,000 non-resident pheasant hunters spent more than $156 million in the state. As someone who ran her own hunting lodge, I know what those dollars mean to local businesses. As governor, I am committed to being South Dakota’s Sportsman in Chief, doing my part in bringing new business to hunting lodges, preserves, restaurants and others across the state