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Utah prairie dog management returns to federal government

On March 29, 2017, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that returned all management authority for Utah prairie dogs to the federal government. Utah prairie dogs are only found in southwestern Utah and are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The switch to federal management authority occurred on Aug. 17, 2017. On that date, Utah prairie dogs became protected under the Endangered Species Act on all lands, regardless of ownership. If you attempt to harass, capture, injure or destroy a Utah prairie dog — or disturb its habitat — without prior authorization from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, you may be subject to criminal prosecution in federal court.

If you had any state or local authorization (granted after December 2014) to remove Utah prairie dogs or disturb prairie dog habitat, that authorization is no longer valid.

If you are a landowner or business owner in southwestern Utah, and you have concerns about Utah prairie dogs on your property, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 801-975-3330 or the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources at 435-865-6100.

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