Prairie Dogs are Taking Over
The prairie dogs have prevailed in North Dakota.

The National Park Service decided in June to move a picnic area in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park that has been overrun with prairie dogs, despite objections from U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and others who objected to the $223,000 price tag.

Bruce Kaye, chief naturalist at the park, said public health worries were the main reasons behind the decision to move the picnic area. The animals, which are known to bite, can transmit disease, he said.

In a letter to the park service, Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, wrote that it would be much cheaper to move the animals than to move the picnic area.

"Let those dogs know you're reclaiming your picnic area, with force if necessary," Dornan declared.

But Kaye said the park service decided against trying to move an estimated 4,600 prairie dogs from the area. The prairie dog colony near the picnic tables has swelled from about five acres in 1965 to about 92 acres now.

| WH Home | Contact Western | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2001 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.