Prairie Dog Control Programs Available
PIERRE, S.D. –-(Ammoland.com)- The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Department of Agriculture (SDDA) remind farmers and ranchers with unwanted prairie dogs to ask for assistance.
The state’s prairie dog control program is cooperatively funded by GFP and SDDA; GFP manages encroachment issues stemming from adjacent public lands, and SDDA manages complaints between private landowners.
“GFP will control prairie dogs that have spread onto private land from adjacent public land,” said GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk.
“Landowners with encroachment problems from nearby public land must be within one mile of that public land and have at least 20 acres of actual prairie dog colonies to be eligible for assistance.”
“Landowners must call in before Aug. 15, 2011, and inform GFP that they have unwanted prairie dogs,” Fisk added. “GFP provides assistance to many landowners scattered across western South Dakota, and the deadline allows gives us sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of our control program.”
If a landowner has a complaint about prairie dog encroachment from nearby public land, GFP must be contacted at (605)773-5913 to request control. Once eligibility has been verified, GFP field staff or a department representative will control the invading colony on the private land later this fall. All complaints must be received by the Aug. 15th deadline.
Landowners experiencing encroachment from adjacent private land should contact SDDA or local weed and pest supervisors. If a prairie dog colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made.
“Prairie dog control in encroachment situations will remain a priority to address producers’ needs,” stressed Walt Bones, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.
Landowners that are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land need to contact SDDA or their local weed and pest supervisor. If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made. There are two methods to file a complaint, the first option is for the affected landowner to sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local county Weed and Pest Board. The second method requires filing a formal complaint with SDDA. The complaint process can be started by calling 800-228-5254 or visiting http://sdda.sd.gov/Ag_Services/Plant-Protection/Weed%20and%20Pest. A copy of the complaint will be sent to the landowner with the invading colony. Encroachment complaints may be sent in throughout the year.
The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen by visiting http://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/docs/prairiedog-management-plan.pdf or by calling GFP at 605-773-3387.