In South Dakota, native sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens and non-native Hungarian partridges and Chinese ring-necked pheasants build their nests in the tall, dense grass that grows along highways. Thanks to a policy that restricts mowing on public roads until the end of the nesting season, the nests of these upland game birds are protected. The South Dakota Department of Transportation limits mowing on all state highways and interstates - a distance of more than 8,000 miles. East of the Missouri River, mowing cannot occur along the right-of-way until after July 10; west of the Missouri, mowing is not permitted until after June 15.
--Apr 25, 2003
|National Park Service photo|