Wildlife Refuges Legacy

This 2013 photo provided by the estate of Rita Poe shows black-tailed prairie dogs. 

South Dakota landowners wanting help controlling prairie dogs on their land can get assistance through the state by signing up before Aug. 15.

The South Dakota departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) manages encroachment issues for prairie dogs that move from public lands to adjacent private lands while the state department of agriculture manages complaints between private landowners.

Landowners who have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within 1 mile of the public land and have at least 10 acres of actual prairie dog colonies to be eligible for assistance, explained Keith Fisk, GFP wildlife damage program administrator.

Landowners must register online at prairiedogcontrol.sd.gov to request assistance with unwanted prairie dogs. Those with questions about the program, they can contact GFP at 605-773-5913.

GFP staff will begin control measures for qualified landowners in September.

Landowners who are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land should contact the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. The affected landowner must sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local county’s Weed and Pest Board, or the landowner must submit a formal written complaint to the depratment of agriculture, as well as mail a copy to the neighboring landowner.

Landowners can find the form on the state's website, sdda.sd.gov, or by calling 605-773-3796.

The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan is available online at gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/prairiedog-management-plan.pdf