BROOKINGS, S.D. - Recent energy development projects have impacted several regions of South Dakota with disturbance to native soils. To provide guidance for South Dakota landowners and energy industry representatives, SDSU Extension has released a guide titled, “Best Management Practices Guide for Restoration of Native Grasslands and Sensitive Sites Resulting from Energy or Industrial Development.”
The guide is designed to be a resource for those who have agreed to allow wind or other energy development on their property and those who might be considering participating in energy development in the future.
“One of the primary needs has been helping landowners understand the potential short- and long-term impacts of energy development projects to native systems. There are facts that need to be addressed to ensure that when a landowner enters into an agreement, they do so with full knowledge of what might be in store.”
The publication includes guidance on understanding the ‘big picture’ of overall wind impacts and siting issues, avoidance of the disturbance of native ecosystems, and contract negotiation, mitigation and restoration in areas where avoidance is not practiced. It also features common native grassland species suggestions that are generally suitable for most areas of South Dakota.
“When it comes to land restoration and mitigation, there is a lot of science out there, but there really isn’t anything in the form of a usable guide for landowners that has enough depth without being too cumbersome,” Bauman said. “We worked hard to create a useable guide that is practical and timely. It’s something that’s been needed for some time.”
The “Best Management Practices Guide for Restoration of Native Grasslands and Sensitive Sites Resulting from Energy or Industrial Development” is free and available to the public on the SDSU Extension website.
For more information, contact Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.