League staff helped leaders from the League’s South Dakota Division develop comments on the second proposed wetland mitigation site in the state. The South Dakota Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) released a proposal for a wetland mitigation site in McPherson County, located in north-central South Dakota.
In comments to the South Dakota NRCS, Division leadership outlined several concerns with the proposed wetland mitigation site, including the need for future monitoring of water quality and ground water levels. Another major concern is whether upland vegetation planting could be successful at the proposed site due to the soil type and high saline content.
Wetland mitigation banks are a component of the 2014 Farm Bill. The program allows a producer to destroy a wetland on land they own if they purchase credits from a wetland mitigation bank that would restore a wetland elsewhere in the watershed. In the comments to NRCS, the South Dakota Division also stated that wetland mitigation should be the last resort – not the first option. NRCS approved the first proposed wetland mitigation site in northeastern South Dakota earlier this year.