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SD Stockgrowers News

SD Stockgrowers Reminds Landowners of Need for Prairie Dog Control Measures

SD Stockgrowers Reminds Landowners of Need for Prairie Dog Control Measures

 

SD Stockgrowers Association would like to remind producers and landowners that it is the responsible of each landowner to manage prairie dogs in such a way that does not allow the rodents to move onto neighboring property. This includes private landowners and government agencies.

“The prairie dogs have been moving a lot this year and we’ve seen dog towns expanding across a lot of the drought areas this year. It’s really damaging a lot of grass lands across the state,” said Stockgrowers President Bill Kluck. “We want to remind landowners to take prairie dog control seriously and also help to hold Forest Service and BLM accountable for managing their lands by reporting encroachment.”

 

Prairie dogs are considered a pest in South Dakota and prairie dog towns can severely decrease grass production and land values as the rodents dig up large areas of prairie and over population can lead to spread of diseases such as plague.

“We know managing prairie dogs add extra work in a year when the drought already has many of our ranch families stretched to the max, but it’s also a hardship to the neighboring landowner when someone isn’t taking care of prairie dog problems,” said Kluck. “The deadline for reporting is coming up, and we encourage landowners to make sure they’re taking care of any problems on their own land.”

If landowners have prairie dogs encroaching from neighboring private lands, they can file a formal complaint with the landowner and also send it to the SD Department of Agriculture or their County Weed and Pest Board. The form can be found at Here. These complaints can be filed at any time of the year.

Prairie dogs coming on to private land from public lands, both state and federal, must be reported through the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks, no later than August 15. The Department will work with agencies to manage biological buffer zones to private lands and manage the encroaching dog towns greater than 10 acres within one mile of public land.  Public land complaints can be filed by calling 605.773.5913, or visit their website at https://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/wildlifedamage/

The SD Department mixes and provides zinc phosphide bait (poison oats), pre-bait products, and gas cartridges at very reasonable prices to landowners for the purpose of controlling prairie dogs. All of these products are available at the SD Department of Ag Bait station in Pierre, SD. Please call 605-773-4432 for more information about prices, availability and the rules and restrictions for their use. https://sdda.sd.gov/ag-services

 

SD Stockgrowers Support Water Legislation without Amendment

SD Stockgrowers Support Water Legislation without Amendment

 

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors voted this week to continue support for the bill granting landowners the right to limit access to their private property.  They did not endorse the amendment which bars private landowners from charging for access to water on private lands.

In a letter sent to Legislators this week, SD Stockgrowers President Bill Kluck said, “South Dakota Stockgrowers Association testified in support of the original “Recreation and Respect Compromise” as it was presented to the summer study committee on June 2.  The bill”…supports landowner rights, and grants access to public water and to certain historic lakes overlying private property while otherwise respecting the rights of landowners to limit access across their private lands, if they so choose.”

“We continue to support the landowners and feel that was a good compromise that doesn’t give away too much in terms of private property rights,” explained Kluck.

Kluck said SD Stockgrowers was willing to sign on to the compromise which will work for both landowners and those who want to access those waters for sport or recreation.  “We anticipate that respectful sportsmen and women will have no problem obtaining reasonable access to those areas from a large number of affected landowners.”

However, the SDSGA Board of Directors opposed the amendment to bar private landowners from charging for access to their private lands, believing it went a step too far in stripping private property rights.  “As the legislature accepts the initial proposed legislation to give private landowners the right to limit access, they should also accept the right of those landowners to grant access over their private property as they deem fit.

“We hold private property rights as inalienable and supreme,” said Kluck.  “We urge the SD Legislature to pass the original compromise bill and remove the June 2nd amendment of Section 6.”

The South Dakota State Legislature will hold a special session on Monday, June 12 at 10am to consider passage of the legislation which can be found at sdlegislature.gov.