Land & Resources Management

The Dakota Prairie National Grasslands and its units are committed to quality land and resource management within a multiple use context.  Each national forest andgrassland is governed by a management plan in accordance with the National Forest Management Act(NFMA). These plans set management, protection, and use goals and guidelines. In order to accomplish the Forest Service mission, our resource specialists identify areas that need attention to move the Grasslands closer to the desired future conditions identified in our Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, commonly referred to as the Forest Plan. Project proposals describe the purpose and need for the work and the various alternatives we may have considered and analyzed to choose the most appropriate course of action. A necessary part of the planning for these projects is the environmental analysis and documentation, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and agency direction.

Grazing is by far the largest portion of the versatile uses of the Grasslands, and is managed to integrate with other uses and values that Grassland ecosystems depend on.  By supporting local ranchers while also maintaining ecosystem sustainability, the Grasslands aspire to maintain these relationships so that both are available to future generations.  Practicing responsible land and resource management has also lead to prosperous and huntable populations of pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, pronghorn antelope and black tailed prairie dogs to name a few, which strengthen the economy of the area during their respected hunting seasons.

While managing habitat for current wildlife populations is important, the Grasslands also manage an unusual abundance of fossil resources.  Museums around the world contain 30 million year old mammal fossils from this area, and fossils are being recovered every few years.  The Grassland is taking an aggressive inventory, education, and law enforcement approach to identifying public fossil resources and protecting them for current and future scientific research and public enjoyment.

National Grasslands Primer

The National Grasslands Primer is the document identifying and interpreting the laws and regulations applicable to administration of National Grasslands.

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