The Prairie Coteau Habitat Partnership’s current primary focus is to provide prescribed fire planning and implementation services to producers on the South Dakota side of the Prairie Coteau. Producers are selected based on various criteria and are involved in identifying goals and strategies for managing their property.
It is the purpose of the Prairie Coteau Habitat Partnership to provide fire planning and implementation resources to private landowners on the Prairie Coteau. Because we are currently funded with grants, we do not charge for these services. This may not always be the case in the future, and we will be posting updates to this website as resource opportunities change.
We encourage safe, effective, and efficient use of fire that utilizes the highest professional and safety standards. However, within that framework we believe there is opportunity for private landowners to become competent and capable of incorporating fire on their own properties in a safe and socially-sound manner. For an individual to achieve the goal of providing their own fire services takes knowledge and experience that is best attained by attending training seminars or other such information sharing events.
This section of the website is dedicated to those landowners who wish to apply for fire services through the Partnership and those who wish to learn more about fire self-service.
We have an application process for producers wishing to receive fire services. Our program is still relatively small, and we can plan and implement between 30 and 50 burns annually. Our burn season is generally restricted to the spring.
We review and rank applications annually. Fire services are not necessarily based on a first apply – first served basis. Rather, we look at the full scope and intent of objectives provided by the producer and weigh the projects against each other.
Priority is given to producers wishing to utilize fire and improve grazing practices on native prairie/pasture/grassland that is currently enrolled in some type of long-term easement or habitat project (such as US Fish and Wildlife Service grassland or wetland easements, Wetland Reserve Program, or Northern Prairie’s Land Trust easements).
However, native grasslands not under any program also rank high if the producer shows a tendency to want to improve the ranch for both wildlife and cattle.
Second priority is grass plantings and habitat projects under any of the various conservation programs.
***All producers receiving services from the partnership must agree to a sign a 10 year US Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Extension Agreement (see below for more detail).
***THOSE INTERESTED IN FIRE SERVICES ON GRAZED PASTURE MUST PREPARE THE SITE WITH A FULL YEAR OF REST FROM GRAZING IN ORDER TO ENSURE ADEQUATE FUEL, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Step 1: Contact us. This is a good first step to discuss your initial interest and to ask questions about the application process.
Step 2: Plan ahead. Generally, fire services are performed during the spring following the application. The application process is continually open, but applications received by August 1 will receive priority consideration for the following spring fire season. Applications received after January 1 will likely have to wait until the following spring (15 months) for fire services.
***Those interested in burning on grazed pastures must provide a full year of rest the year prior to the spring fire. Example: if wishing to be considered for a 2012 spring burn, the pasture must be rested during the entire 2011 grazing season to ensure adequate fuel load and desired fire effects. No adjustments, no exceptions. Producers not following through with the complete rest requirement will not receive the planned fire.
Step 3: Fill out an application. The application is made up of several parts and includes examples of required documents. Each section of the application is discussed below.
Step 4: Submit Application. Send all supporting application materials to Cody Grewing at PO Box 816, Clear Lake, SD 57226. If you have any questions, please contact Cody at 605-874-8517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.