Tatanka – Projects

Perkins County Community Wildfire Protection Plan:

The Tatanka Resource Conservation & Development Council in collaboration with federal and state agencies, and local partners developed a community wildfire protection strategy. This includes a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, A Preattack Plan Map Book, and a Wildfire Brochure enabling the public to prepare and protect their community from wildfire.

This project was a joint effort of the area volunteer fire fighters, US Forest Service, Resource Conservation & Forestry Division, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division, Perkins County Emergency Management, Perkins County Commissioners, and the Tatanka RC&D Council. Black Hills Land Analysis developed and prepared the wildfire protection plan. Funding was provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

These plans were distributed to the fire departments and all the partners involved.


Cottonwood Re-Establishment :

A drastic reduction of natural occurring woody vegetation regeneration has been observed in western South Dakota. Aging stands have left many areas with only a few mature trees in poor health. This program is very popular among the landowners in northwest South Dakota as we are wrapping up our third phase.

This program involved planting native cottonwoods along with other native woody vegetation to enhance and re-establish fragile riparian areas. The trees are then protected with a tree tube. Fabric squares are utilized to keep vegetative competition to a minimum. The trees are then fenced out to protect them from livestock.

This project was accomplished through cooperation from numerous groups and entities including the Perkins, Harding, Corson, Dewey, Ziebach, and Tri-County Conservation Districts, the US Forest Service – Grand River National Grasslands District, SDSU, National Wild Turkey Federation, South Dakota Conservation Commission, National Forest Foundation, South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks, and USDA-NRCS.

This project was implemented on private and US Forest Service property.


Earl D. Locken Memorial Park:

In 2002, two lots were donated to the Town of Isabel by Ruby Lee Locken, widow of Earl D. Locken, for a park. The Town Board and Community members joined together to develop it. Board members and the Utilities Superintendent trimmed and removed dead trees and replaced them with shrubs, evergreens and grass. Community members and local organizations donated money for a 14′ x 24′ picnic shelter. Later, a larger 60′ x 140′ outdoor pavilion was also built by the Isabel Rodeo Association.

In 2005, the Town Board contacted the Tatanka RC&D office for assistance on further park improvements. A Game, Fish & Parks grant was received to build handicapped accessible restrooms, a water fountain, and fencing around the perimeter of the park. A new, large, metal silhouette sign was donated by Earl Locken’s children, headed by Dale Locken.

At of the end of 2007, trees were planted, the sign installed, and the restrooms were useable, in time for the Annual Isabel Celebration.


McIntosh City Park Playground Equipment Project:

A group of concerned parents, teachers, and local volunteers formed a committee aimed at providing a safe environment for their children to play. The group’s main goals were to develop a child’s ability to explore new potentials, develop new friendships and to accept new challenges. A place that is safe and filled with opportunities to create, imagine, and learn.

The Tatanka RC&D provided grant writing assistance to obtain a $22,500 SD GF&P grant for the City of McIntosh and McIntosh School. Local fundraising added a dollar for dollar match.

The Tiger Paw project became a reality when the playground equipment was delivered and local volunteers gathered with the help of the City of McIntosh to construct the large play facility.


Boss Up Rancher Workshop:

Approximately 50 ranchers and agency personnel attended the “Boss Up Rancher Workshop” held at the Bart Carmichael Ranch September 23-24, 2009. The workshop presenter was certified holistic educator, Wayne Berry. Wayne is a life-long livestock producer and retiredprofessor at Williston State College.

Mr. Berry led an interactive discussion with the group about alternative ways to think about people, natural resources, livestock, grazing management, creativity, time, money, setting goals, and making decisions. The holistic philosophy is that people can improve their quality of life and their farms and ranches by looking at all aspects of farm/ranch life and making their decisions accordingly. The group had an opportunity to visit many pasture sites learning how to manage resources more efficiently using the holistic management approach.

The workshop was sponsored by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, in partnership with the Tatanka Resource Conservation and Development Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Corson, Ziebach, Perkins, & Tri-County Conservation Districts.

A huge Thank You goes out to Bart and Shannon Carmichael for hosting this event making it a great success.


Bison Medical Clinic:

In late 2001, a committee formed to promote a new medical clinic in Bison, SD. Their clinic was old, overcrowded, had a leaky roof, lacked privacy and windows, and had no room for sinks, x-ray machine, and other needed equipment. The committee planned the size, layout, and came up with a cost estimate of $240,000.

The committee considered various grants and loans from federal, state, and foundations sources. However, local investors volunteered to fund the clinic and various donations were also made to help with the cost. After many meetings and a lot of planning, the Town Board purchased lots from Vi Yohe and James and Marci Sandgren to build the new facility on. Demolition of the lots took place and construction began on the 40‘ x 100’ building that is rented out to Prairie Community Health of Isabel, SD. A grand opening was held December 3, 2003.

The medical center currently houses the Clinic, County Health Nurse, Hands on Health, and Bison Ambulance. It is open 5 days a week and has a full time Physicians Assistant, and two other Physicians from Hettinger, ND one day a month, a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Receptionist.
Tatanka RC&D served as a catalyst, innovator, and expeditor to the committee and played an invaluable role as a disinterested third party during project planning and implementation.


Harding County Truck Scale:

The Harding County Truck Scale was first proposed to the Harding County Stockgrowers in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2003 that it became a reality. Ranchers in the area had to travel about 45 miles to the nearest scale to weigh cattle, sheep, hay, and grain. They would spend 2 hours on the road using more fuel as well as extra wear and tear on trucks and highways to simply weigh their products.

The Harding County Stockgrowers were awarded a USDA Forest Service Rural Community Assistance (RCA) grant for $20,000. Monetary and labor donations from ranchers and businesses were also received adding up to more than $20,000.

Rockwell Scales from Sun River, Montana received the lowest bid of $41,000 to install a 11’ x 80’ fully electronic pitless scale located on the south side of Henderson Oil Company in Buffalo, SD.A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new truck scale was held on December 8, 2003. The Tatanka RC&D Council provided planning, organizing, and financial assistance to make this project a reality.