News
5:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Devils Tower seeks to move prairie dogs farther from people

Devils Tower National Monument is creating a prairie dog management plan to keep the animals out of developed areas.

One option they’re considering is to build fences and plant vegetation that would encourage prairie dogs to move to another area. Their preferred alternative would include those so-called “passive” measures, but would also allow for lethal control in certain circumstances.

Rene Ohms with Devils Tower says that option would involve the least damage to the environment.

“If we have to do a lot of infrastructure replacement and disturb a lot more soil, we’re actually having more environmental effects than we would to that individual prairie dog that we might have had to use lethal control on,” Ohms said.

She adds that they are not trying to reduce the overall number of prairie dogs; they simply want the animals to be farther away from campgrounds and picnic areas, so that visitors don’t accidentally step in prairie dog holes, and so the animals don’t burrow too close to electrical fixtures and other infrastructure.

The National Parks Service is accepting public comments on the plan until August 30th.