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SDGFP accepting proposals for Wildlife Diversity Program

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is accepting proposals to its Wildlife Diversity Program for the Small Grants Program.

The program aims to provide funding to researchers, educators and naturalists that allow them to carry out projects that are focused on wildlife. The funding for 2019 totals $28,000 for projects focused on research of native wildlife species and their habitats. 

Wildlife biologist Casey Heimeri said there is a wide pool of talent and expertise outside of GF&P, and the program aims to showcase those people.

“By making small grants available, we are able to utilize this talent and expertise,” she said in a statement. “The diverse projects that have been completed in the last 22 years have resulted in numerous publications in scientific journals, popular educational products and a tremendous amount of new information on native wildlife species and their habitats.”

Wildlife Diversity Small Grants began in 1997 and has funded projects ranging from spider surveys of the Fort Pierre National Grasslands to assessing the risk of plague in black-footed ferrets.

Proposals are due by Feb. 15.

Funding available for trails 

South Dakota State Parks Director Katie Ceroll announced today that applications are being accepted for grants from the Recreation Trails Program. The grants will be available for trail projects sponsored by municipalities, counties, state parks, federal land management agencies or tribal governments.

“When it comes to promoting healthy communities, recreational trails are key,” Ceroll said. “As safe corridors for exercise and recreation, trails give families the opportunity to spend quality time together and enjoy the natural beauty of our state.”

The Recreational Trails Program provides partial reimbursement for approved trail projects. Eligible projects include construction of new public trails, rehabilitation of existing public trails, development of trail-related facilities and educational programs that relate to recreational trails.

The application deadline is Friday, April 12.

RTP funds come to the state through the Federal Highway Administration and are apportioned to states by Congress to fund both motorized and non-motorized public recreation trail projects. The amount of funds available is based upon the number of recreational vehicles licensed in each state.

Application packets are available online at the Game, Fish and Parks website. For more information, contact Grants Coordinator Randy Kittle at 605.773.5490 or by e-mail at randy.kittle@state.sd.us.

View snowmobile trails with trail cameras 

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials want to remind snowmobilers that trail cameras offer a visual aid for current trail conditions across the state.

Trail cameras are located at Hardy Station, Savoy and the Kirk trailhead in the Black Hills. 

“We are excited to offer the trail cameras,” GF&P snowmobile trails coordinator Ryan Raynor said. “Oftentimes, areas like Rapid City or Sturgis may not be seeing snow, while the higher elevations are good for riding. The cameras are a great way to show people current conditions.”

To view trail conditions, visit gfp.sd.gov and search 'snowmobiling.'

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.