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Published August 10, 2010, 07:57 AM

Feds to get look at ND prairie dog problems

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has invited federal officials to come to North Dakota to get a firsthand look at the problems prairie dogs cause for ranchers.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has invited federal officials to come to North Dakota to get a firsthand look at the problems prairie dogs cause for ranchers.

The Environmental Protection Agency officials on Thursday will visit sites populated by prairie dogs in Sioux County, and will have the opportunity to meet with landowners and producers and with state and federal wildlife officials.

Some people and groups want black-tailed prairie dogs protected, but the animals were denied protection under the Endangered Species Act late last year after federal officials concluded the once prevalent species shows signs of rebounding.

Goehring says there is still pressure to restrict and even ban poisons used to control prairie dogs, which damage grazing land.

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