PIERRE, S.D.(KELO-AM) – The thirteen members of the South Dakota Pheasant Habitat Work Group gathered for their initial meeting last Friday in Pierre.
The work group is comprised of members selected by Gov. Dennis Daugaard after December’s Pheasant Habitat Summit and consists of sportsmen, landowners, leading conservation and agriculture academics, legislators and government officials.
The groups charge is to identify ways to improve pheasant habitat that are compatible with agricultural production in the state.
“I am very happy with the progress we made during this first meeting,” said Work Group Chairwoman Pam Roberts. “The amount of input we received from the public before, during and after the Habitat Summit shows how important this issue is to South Dakotan’s and our visitors.”
Workgroup members reviewed the hundreds of comments, ideas and suggestions to improve pheasant habitat and pheasant populations.
“People are passionate about pheasants in South Dakota,” said Roberts. “Everyone wants their ideas and voice to be heard. It is our job to try and find feasible and effective solutions and this list is a good start.”
The group will meet again in early April and will deliver a report of their work to Gov. Daugaard this summer .
The thirteen pheasant habitat work group members are:
- Pam Roberts, Pierre (Chair) - retired Secretary of SD Department of Labor and Regulation
- Barry Dunn, Brookings - dean, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University
- Tim Kessler, Aberdeen - Pheasants Forever Board of Directors, former Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission chair
- Mary Duvall, Pierre - District 24 state representative
- Jason Frerichs, Wilmot - farmer, Senate Minority Leader, District 1 state senator
- John Cooper, Pierre - GFP commissioner, former GFP Secretary
- Steve Halverson, Kennebec - farmer, owner of Halverson Hunts
- Jan Nicolay, Chester - former state representative, conservation advocate
- Jeff Zimprich, Huron - USDA-NRCS state director
- Doug Deiter, Faulkton - farmer
- Jeff Vonk, Pierre - GFP Secretary
- Lucas Lentsch, Pierre - SD Secretary of Agriculture
- Nathan Sanderson, Pierre - Governor's policy advisor for agriculture and GFP
For more information on the Pheasant Working Group and the Pheasant Habitat Summit, visit