The US government is under fire for poisoning the Prairie Dogs plan

The US government is under fire for poisoning the Prairie Dogs plan

CHENEY, Wyoming – Defenders of the U.S. Forest Service are taking the U.S. Forest Service to trial over a plan to eliminate prairie dogs from Thunderland in the national grasslands.

Thunder Basin is one of the last remaining landscapes with a prairie dog complex of at least 10,000 acres, the space required for the black-footed ferret reintroduction effort, Eric Mulvar, executive director of the Western Watersheds Project, one of the groups that filed a lawsuit in federal court last week, said. from the brink of extinction.

“Forest management should not poison certain sensitive species that they are supposed to prioritize protection,” Mulvar stressed. “And they have a legal obligation to promote the reintroduction of black-footed ferrets, because the Thunder Basin is one of the best remaining candidate sites for the reintroduction of black-footed ferrets.”

Black-legged rodents rely exclusively on prairie dogs for food and habitat. The legal battle revolves around amending a plan that would eliminate protections and allow the poisoning and shooting of prairie dogs, which livestock producers widely view as pests.

Mulvar noted that the livestock industry has worked to eliminate any species it sees as endangering its profits, including wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions. The Thunder Basin lands are owned by all Americans, he added, and protecting local wildlife should be the basis for agencies tasked with managing those assets.

“You have to have businesses that coexist with the local wildlife as a cost of doing business on public lands,” Mulvar said. “Because Americans have a strong interest in local wildlife.”

Prairie dogs are a primary species in the area. Their engineering skills in building tunnels create a habitat for burrow owls, swift foxes, and many other native species. Mulvar argued that the risks of preventing the extinction of a species like the black-footed mongoose are far-reaching, pointing to advice from wildlife management pioneer Aldo Leopold.

“The first rule of intelligent manipulation is to memorize all the parts,” Mulvar stressed. “And that means that you shouldn’t push any species to become extinct because you’re not really sure how that would fit in with the health of the rest of the ecosystem that makes human life possible on this planet.”

Source: Wyoming News Service

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