Kinship Circle: Killing Prairie Dogs – Your Tax Dollars At Work

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:20 PM
Subject: Killing Prairie Dogs – Your Tax Dollars At Work


2/27/08: Killing Prairie Dogs – Your Tax Dollars At Work

Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.


FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows.


Rick Cables, Regional Forester
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region
P.O. Box 25127; Lakewood, CO 80225-0127
ph: 303-275-5450; fax: 303-275-5482
email: rcables [at]
web mail:

The Honorable Mark Rey
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Room 217E, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
ph: 202-720-7173; fax 202-720-0632
email: mark.rey [at]

(More below the fold…)

Defenders of Wildlife: Stop the Poisoning of the American Prairie

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Via Defenders of Wildlife:

Stop the Poisoning of the American Prairie

Last fall, more than 35,000 activists like you sent comments asking the Forest Service to stop the massacre of tens of thousands of prairie dogs on our National Grasslands.

Prairie dogs provide food for eagles, hawks, badgers, swift fox, endangered black-footed ferrets and other Great Plains predators. Prairie dog burrows provide shelter for burrowing owls, salamanders, black-footed ferrets and many other creatures.

But the Forest Service wants to use your tax dollars to poison and kill tens of thousands of these furry critters and destroy the vital habitat prairie dogs create in our National Grasslands.

Take action now — write the Forest Service and urge them to stop the prairie dog massacre.



HSUS: Kansas: Stop the Logan County Prairie Dog Poisoning

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Via the Humane Society of the United States:

Kansas: Stop the Logan County Prairie Dog Poisoning

The commissioners of Logan County, Kansas, have decided to poison the largest prairie dog town in Kansas. A 1901 state law permits county governments to go onto private property, despite the owner’s objection, and exterminate prairie dogs. Last week, one Logan ranching family was given the option of killing the prairie dogs on their land or paying for county employees to do so, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So far, the family has protested, saying that prairie dogs play an important role in the health of native grassland ecosystems. They also don’t want poisons, which kill many species besides prairie dogs, on their land. Furthermore, they have proposed their land as potential reintroduction sites for the most endangered mammal in North America, the black-footed ferret, a species completely dependent on prairie dog colonies for its survival.

Click here to take action on this issue.

More information is available here.



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

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

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.


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] or call (303) 825-0918.


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


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.


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.



WWF: Stop Massive Prairie Dog Poisoning

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Via the World Wildlife Fund:

Stop Massive Prairie Dog Poisoning

The U.S. Forest Service wants to poison potentially tens of thousands of prairie dogs living within three national grasslands in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Under a previous plan hurriedly pushed through last year, the Forest Service spread poison across 7,000 acres of prairie dog colonies near private lands, killing an estimated 70,000 prairie dogs. The new proposal goes much further and would allow prairie dog poisoning anywhere on the three national grasslands. This would include land within an area that holds the largest concentration of prairie dogs on public lands in the Great Plains, and is home to about half of the world’s approximately 700 remaining black-footed ferrets.

The poisoning would put at risk the many other wildlife species that depend on the prairie dogs, including burrowing owls, hawks, badgers, swift foxes and critically endangered black-footed ferrets. The loss of so many prairie dogs would cripple recovery of the ferrets, which rely on prairie dogs as prey species and live in prairie dog burrows. Thought to be extinct until rediscovered in 1981, the black-footed ferret was saved from extinction thanks to the work of thousands of individuals and a public investment of millions of dollars over the last 25 years. The ferret’s future looks bright, unless the new poisoning plan goes forward. […]

U.S. activists, help oppose plans to poison tens of thousands of prairie dogs. Black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, badgers, swift foxes, and many other species rely on prairie dogs as a food source or use their burrows.

Action deadline: October 28, 2006



Defenders of Wildlife: Don’t Poison the American Prairie

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Via Defenders of Wildlife:

Don’t Poison the American Prairie

The Forest Service wants to make it easier to poison and kill prairie dogs on the American plains — risking creatures like burrowing owls, hawks, swift fox and the critically endangered black-footed ferret.

Take action now — use the bullets below [here] to write the Forest Service and urge them to withdraw this harmful proposal.