Natural Resources & Environment

The South Dakota Democratic Party recognizes that protection of our water, air, land, and other natural resources is both essential and beneficial to responsible economic development and our quality of life. Natural resources must be managed and protected in a way that enhances our quality of life while strengthening South Dakota’s vital industries. Management and regulatory policies must recognize the need to promote sound conservation practices geared toward long-term sustainability of our natural resources. Our natural resources must be protected for present and future generations.

We, the South Dakota Democratic Party:

• Recognize that the effects of human-caused Climate Change negatively impact South Dakota, and urge Federal, State, and local governments to enact policies that mitigate and reverse those effects.

• Support Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new carbon standards for coal fire power plants

• Advocate for the production and distribution of renewable energy including but not limited to wind, solar, ethanol, hydropower, and geothermal. We also encourage development of community-based and large scale energy systems.

• Support the strengthening and strict enforcement of our current state and federal environmental laws. Those responsible for polluting and/or degrading the quality of South Dakota land, air, or water will be held accountable for their actions. Prompt clean-up will be conducted at the expense of the responsible parties.

• Encourage the state of South Dakota, local governments and South Dakotans to practice energy conservation.
• Promote a concerted effort by government, industry, and individuals to create environmentally safe and readily available ways to recycle.

• Encourage wise and effective management of forest resources with emphasis on combating the spread of the mountain pine beetle. We further encourage statewide reduction of wildland fire hazards by controlled burns and removal of dense brush and small diameter trees.

• Recognize the vital importance of clean and available drinking water and support continuing development and funding of both municipal and rural water systems. We strongly encourage conservation of water throughout South Dakota and support diligent protection of our ground and surface water.

• Support policies that provide enhanced outdoor recreational opportunities without damaging South Dakota’s natural resources.

• Promote adequate funding for and access to public hunting and fishing areas to protect South Dakota’s rich heritage for future generations.

• Support adequate funding to protect, preserve, and restore South Dakota’s public assets, especially its lakes, parks, rivers, wetlands, forests, and grasslands. We fully support erosion control efforts to reduce the amount of sediment entering the Missouri River reservoirs and encourage the removal of sediment that has entered, or will enter, the reservoirs.

• Support conservation districts and the use of their services for the development of each community’s natural resources.

• Promote the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles to mitigate the production of greenhouse gases.

• Oppose all fossil fuel pipelines, fracking, and in-situ leach Uranium mining.