Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune (R-SD) issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by the United States Forest Service that it will begin the process to amend the Forest and Grassland Plan to better manage prairie dogs on the Buffalo Gap, Oglala, and Fort Pierre National Grasslands:

"I am pleased that the Forest Service has responded to my concerns about the environmental destruction being caused by the overpopulation of prairie dogs on our grasslands. This amendment process is crucial to giving the Forest Service the opportunity for further analysis and broader management tools to protect the soil and vegetation, which are being decimated by prairie dogs in areas like the Conata Basin.

"Ranchers, land-owners and all South Dakotans deserve a healthy grasslands that is managed in an environmentally sound and responsible manner beneficial for cattle, wildlife, neighboring landowners and communities. Hopefully this process will allow the Forest Service to accomplish that goal.

"I am particularly pleased that the USFS has placed a one-year timeline on this, rather than leaving it an open-ended process that could drag on for years. I look forward to working closely with the Forest Service on this issue."

Senator Thune is also working on legislation that would place a moratorium on ferret reintroductions on federal, non-reservation land in South Dakota.