Davenport Evans lawyer Reece Almond serves as vice-chair of the Sioux Falls-based non-profit, Friends of the Big Sioux River (FBSR). The organization focuses on water quality monitoring, public policy and advocacy, river restoration, and education. Almond was featured in the following Board Member Profile first published in the Winter, 2022 edition of the group’s newsletter, The Otter.
Reece Almond described an idyllic childhood in Huron, SD, where his dad sold beer and his mom taught high school science. “We did everything together, as a family,” Almond fondly remembered.
Almond and his older brother, often with their parents at their side, spent much time outdoors at Lake Byron, near Huron, as well as golfing and riding dirt bikes in pastures and in the Black Hills on rough trails. These days, Almond satisfies his desire to be active and outside with less noisy activities. “My wife and I love to kayak the river.” Almond is also an avid golfer and a runner. His wife, Candis, grew up on a farm along the Big Sioux River in South Dakota’s Hamlin County.
Almond, who serves Friends of the Big Sioux River as its vice-chair, is a partner at the Davenport Evans law firm in Sioux Falls. “I’m a litigation lawyer,” he explained. “I like the challenges and competing.”
Almond earned double majors at the University of South Dakota, studying political science and mathematics before graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School. He returned to South Dakota for a two-year clerkship with federal judge Karen Schreier, a plum landing place for a new grad. Almond describes Schreier as one of the most important mentors of his career.
“It seems counterintuitive,” said Almond, explaining his undergraduate education at USD, “but the mathematics major serves me better in my profession than the political science major. My work in mathematics sharpened my analytical skills.”
Almond joined Davenport Evans in 2014 and is now a partner. “The culture at the firm is terrific,” reported Almond. “There’s an atmosphere of support and friendship among attorneys and staff.”
Almond views recreational opportunities as a critical and motivating factor in restoring and protecting water quality in the river. “Right now, we can’t swim in the river, and at times there are fish-eating advisories for the river. Can you imagine if people could always swim and eat fish caught in the river? Recreation potential for the river is huge. But we need cleaner, safer water to get there. I believe the best approach for us to achieve healthy flows is to create change at the policy level.”
If your group or business is interested in volunteering to help clean up a stretch of a waterway, FBSR will provide a Clean-Up Kit including:
- Trash bags
- Bug spray
- Reach extender
- Volunteer T-shirts
Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is one of the State’s largest law firms. The firm’s attorneys provide business and litigation counsel to individuals and corporate clients in a variety of practice areas. For more information about Davenport Evans, visit www.dehs.com.