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SD prairie dog control requests due Aug. 15

From the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department

-- South Dakota ranchers and farmers with prairie dog complaints can contact the Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture departments.
 
"With the passage of the state Prairie Dog Management Plan in 2005, control guidelines and annual funds have been made available to landowners who have unwanted prairie dogs," said GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk.
 
The plan, jointly funded by Agriculture and GFP, is based on the good neighbor policy and has a no-tolerance standard for prairie dogs moving onto lands where they are not wanted.
 
There are three components to the program: (1) control where prairie dogs are coming off public lands, (2) control where prairie dogs are coming off private lands, and (3) incentives where prairie dogs are coming off public or tribal lands.
 
Landowners with complaints about prairie dogs that are encroaching from public lands may contact GFP at (605) 773-5913 to request control. Once encroachment has been verified, GFP field staff or an approved contractor will take steps this fall to control the invading colonies on private lands. Complaints must be received by Aug. 15.
 
If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made.
 
There are two methods to file a complaint. A landowner may sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board, or send a formal complaint to the Agriculture Dept. A copy of the complaint must also be sent to the landowner with the invading colony.
 
Forms may be obtained by calling (800) 228-5254 or online at http://sdda.sd.gov/Ag_Services/ 
 
Mail completed forms to the Department of Agriculture, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD, 57501. Notices of encroachment may be sent in throughout the year.  
 
Depending on location, two different incentive programs are available to landowners adjacent to public or tribal lands. The programs replace the use of rodenticides, fumigants or other toxicants on encroaching prairie dogs with a per-acre payment for areas where prairie dogs would be allowed to remain. Landowners interested in incentives may contact GFP at (605) 773-5913 by Aug. 15 to be considered for those programs.
 
The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen online  at  http://www.gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/docs/Prairiedog-management-plan.pdf or by calling the GFP Wildlife Damage Program at (605) 773-3387.

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