More than 100 members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation weighed in. South Dakota lawmakers listened and took action. By a vote of 38-27, the legislature defeated a bill that would have allowed new owners of private properties with permanent conservation protections to nullify them after the death of the previous owner who originally agreed to them.
RMEF had grave concerns with the legislation because it would have voided the long-term intentions of landowners who place conservation easements on their properties in order to protect their wildlife values in perpetuity. Additionally such a roll-back would devalue the investments made by agencies and land trusts and potentially degrade wildlife habitat.
RMEF holds and manages 19 conservation easements with private landowners across South Dakota, allowing them to maintain agricultural uses while also protecting wildlife habitat on more than 28,000 acres.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)