Gaining Ground

South Dakota


Acres Protected

That’s about 113,204 football fields!

Land trusts have already conserved 61 million acres of private land across the nation — more than all of the national parks combined. Help us conserve another 60 million acres by the end of the decade.

Together, let’s keep Gaining Ground.


Every land trust is as unique as the community it serves.

South Dakota land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.

Active Land Trusts


A land trust is a nonprofit that conserves land by acquiring and stewarding land or conservation easements.

Learn more about land trusts
Alliance Member Land Trusts


Land Trust Alliance members commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.

Learn about the land trust alliance
Accredited Land Trusts


Accredited land trusts undergo a thorough review of their practices in governance, finance, transactions and stewardship.

Learn about land trust accreditation


  • 20

  • 1

  • 7

  • 0

  • 6

Land Trust Longevity

  • 23 years old (1999)

  • 23 years old (1999)

  • 23 years old

Land Protected

There has been a 45% increase in South Dakota land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve South Dakota lands, waters and ways of life.

Total acres protected
Under easement
Acquired and reconveyed
Protected by other means

Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Land Owned and Under Easement Held by an Accredited Land Trust


Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$387 million

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017


Source: NRCS - Natural Resources Inventory

This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.

Making a Difference

South Dakota land trusts are gaining ground.

Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of South Dakota's most pressing issues.

  • Protecting family farm and ranches: The South Dakota Ag Land Trust was recently formed to ensure the future of farm and ranch land in the state. With West River towns such as Rapid City expanding closer to ranches, easements offer family operations a way to maintain their property as agricultural land.

    Read more
  • Protecting land for future generations: The accredited Nature Conservancy manages the Prairie Coteau Habitat Partnership, which protects the Prairie Coteau, a region of eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota that harbors the largest remaining tract of native northern tallgrass prairie in the United States. The Partnership works to conserve and enhance the quality of native pastures and prairies and other grassland habitats through the use of prescribed fire, managed grazing and grassland restoration.

    Read more

Land Trusts Working in South Dakota

Land Trust Alliance member land trusts, listed below, commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.