Defenders of Wildlife: Don’t Let Them Poison the Kansas Prairie

December 5th, 2006 3:12 pm by Kelly Garbato

UPDATE, 1/31/07, via Defenders of Wildlife:

I’ve just learned that the court hearing on whether or not to force wildlife-friendly landowners to destroy prairie dog towns on their property has been postponed.

Originally scheduled for this Friday, the hearing will now take place in late March.

This is great news for the prairie dogs and the wildlife that depends on them, since the main poison that the county wanted to use can’t be applied between March 15th and October 1st.

We’ll be sure to let you know when the new court date will be so that you can show your support by attending.

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UPDATE, 1/29/07, via Defenders of Wildlife:

Wildlife heroes — and the wildlife they’re trying to save — need your help!

The Logan County Commission has filed suit to force ranchers Bette and Larry Haverfield and other wildlife-friendly landowners to destroy several prairie dog towns in the county, including Kansas’s largest. A court hearing will be held this Friday.

Please attend and show your support for prairie wildlife and the landowners who want to preserve it.

What: Court Hearing for Prairie Dogs
Where: Logan County Courthouse, 710 W 2nd St, Oakley, Kansas
When: Friday, February 2nd (Groundhog Day!) at 9:00 AM (Central Time)

The Haverfields and their fellow wildlife-friendly landowners have seen firsthand the diversity of wildlife that prairie dog towns bring. From hawks to swift foxes, badgers to burrowing owls, plenty of wildlife finds safe harbor on the ranch.

Now you can show your support for these landowners who are standing up for the wildlife on their lands. Attend the court hearing at the Logan County Courthouse — but please be respectful; make no noise, clapping or outbursts.

It is important for wildlife supporters to show our presence in the courthouse to counter the all-out effort by the Farm Bureau to pack the courtroom with an anti-wildlife crowd. We can send a powerful message to the County Commissioners and state legislators that Kansans care about their state’s wildlife.

Arrive early if you can — we will have stickers available for you to show that you support the landowners and wildlife.

If you would like more information, please email me at jproctor [at] defenders.org or call (303) 825-0918.

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UPDATE, 12/14/06: The HSUS also released an action alert on this item; you can view it here.

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UPDATE, 12/13/06:

The NY Times ran a piece on this story recently; looks like the prairie dogs have won a reprieve, at least for the time being.

On Tuesday, the day before the deadline, Mr. Haverfield’s lawyer sent the commission a letter threatening legal action. All Wednesday, the Haverfields and Mr. Barnhardt’s daughter and son-in-law, three neighbors and two environmentalists kept watch. No poisoners came.

They later learned why: the county commissioners were waiting to hear from their insurers’ lawyers. “We won’t do anything unless our lawyers tell us we can,” Mr. Scott said.

Go read the whole piece.

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Via Defenders of Wildlife:

Don’t Let Them Poison the Kansas Prairie

Logan County has it in for prairie wildlife and the ranchers who want to protect it.

Last week, Logan County Commissioners put ranchers like Larry and Betty Haverfield on notice to remove their cattle from land they own and lease — so the county can destroy the state’s largest prairie dog town.

If the ranchers don’t comply, the county will forcefully poison the prairie dogs for them — and stick the ranchers with the $200,000 bill! The slaughter is scheduled to begin tomorrow, December 6th.

Help save the prairie dogs — take action now!

More info here.

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