The U.S. Forest Service is looking for a way to better manage black tail prairie dog conservation and control efforts within the Thunder Basin National Grassland.
While population viability, control efforts, and disease impact on black-tailed prairie dogs remains a prominent concern, the impacts they may have on public health, infrastructure, and the local agricultural economy cannot be ignored, according to a press release from the USFS.
Today, April 18, the USFS released a Proposed Action to amend the Thunder Basin National Grassland and Resource Management Plan and published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register.
The Proposed Action will seek to incorporate new science and lessons learned from previous conservation and control efforts. It will also prioritize aligning black-tailed prairie dog management strategies with state partners, while at the same time keeping the needs of private landowners in mind.
The action establishes management zones, sets a target range for colonies to ensure species viability, and identifies tools for colony control and conservation, the release states.
The USFS is requesting public comment on the project, the proposed action, and identify any alternatives before the amendment is finalized in 2020.
In Douglas, May 6, a public meeting regarding the proposed action will take place at the Converse County Library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, USFS staff will present the project details via webinar on Adobe Connect, starting at 11 a.m. May 8.
Grassland staff will be available to answer any questions. Login information for the webinar will be posted on the project website prior to the webinar.
To view the entire proposed action document, please click here.