<CENTER> Range Management

Range Management

The Range department has worked to assist ranchers with providing information and methods of reducing over grazing and improve range management practices. By providing materials for cross fencing which will allow for cattle rotation. This Department has also taken on Lease Compliance work, ensuring all Range Unit holders and Farm/Pasture leases are in compliance with Tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs regulations.

Which can increase prairie vegetation and reduce the expansion of prairie dog towns. We have also assisted with providing chemicals for poisoning to reduce prairie dog numbers around schools, cemeteries, churches and communities.

Our department is aware of the lack of water within the reservation boundaries. We also realize that cattle tend to congregate and graze in areas which are in close proximity to water.

With this knowledge we have worked to construct wells, extended existing water lines build new dams and repair old ones. Since 1994 the Program has fully funded or cost shared the completion of 380 new stock dams, 1470 stock dam repairs,  30 shallow water wells and 27 artesian water wells of which 16 were drilled by our Program Well Drilling Department.

We are working cooperatively with Natural Resource Conservation to drill and develop artesian wells to provide permanent water access in many locations.

We are also working to manage and control the invasion of noxious weeds through out the reservation such as

salt cedar "Tamarix aphylla"

Salt cedar species are shrubs to small tree with long tap roots that allows them to intercept deep water tables that interfere with natural aquatic systems and monopolizing limited sources of moisture. Salt cedar also increases the frequency and intensity of fires by monopolizing limited sources of moisture and depositing a thick layer of brush and leaves that can provide a strong source of fuel for wildfires. Large plants of salt cedar can transpire at least 200 gallons of water per plant each day and often dry up ponds and small streams. Salt cedar accumulates salt in its tissues, which is later released into the soil, making it unsuitable for many native species. Salt cedar infestations can replace native plant communities, and degrade wildlife species and habitat significantly.

Canada thistle "Cirsium arvense"

Canada thistle is usually 1 to 3 feet tall and crowds out and replaces native species. This plant has little forage value and a very extensive root system which gives it the ability to spread within a 3 to 6 feet diameter in one or two years. It can also grow in a variety of soil types and it can tolerate up to 2 percent salt content. Plants are spread viva its root system or through seed transportation, seeds can remain viable in soil up to 20 years.

leafy spurge "Euphorbia esula"

Leafy spurge grows from 12" to 30" tall, usually in patches and spreads rapidly. This plant has no forage value, it produces a milky substances which can cause severe irritation of the mouth and digestive tract of cattle which may result in death. In humans it also can cause blistering and irritation on the skin as well as swelling. The roots of this plant can reach depths of 15 feet and lateral spread of up to 35 feet. Even if the foliage of the plant is destroyed, the roots will regenerate new shoots. Leafy spurge can be catastrophic to grasslands for both economic and ecological reasons. It is estimated that the plant reduces the productivity of grazing land by 50 to 75 percent.



A case of  "bovine Trichomoniasis" has been reported within the reservation boundaries within Ziebach County.  This is a contagious venereal disease caused by a one celled parasite (protozoan), that is spread to bulls and cows.  This is NOT a disease that will cause your herd to be quarantined.  If you have questions or think your herd might be infected please call the State Veterinarian's  Office at Pierre