prairie dogs

Conservation groups are criticizing a proposal to reduce the amount of land protected for prairie dogs in the Thunder Basin National Grassland.

The U.S. Forest Service is considering shrinking the acreage of protected land, largely because ranchers have concerns about livestock being injured in prairie dog holes and acquiring diseases.

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.