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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

No roadside mowing during nesting season protects game birds

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

Dave Graves, (605) 773-5727 or

Sharp-tailed grouse
National Park Service photo
Sharp-tailed grouse

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Along Roads - South Dakota
Updated: 12/12/2012
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