Recent Press Releases

Thune Applauds Prairie Dog Decision

Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Black-tailed Prairie Dog is Not Threatened, Endangered

December 2, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune applauded today’s announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the agency has determined the black-tailed prairie dog does not require designation as a threatened or endangered species.

“Anyone who lives or ranches on the grasslands of South Dakota can see that prairie dogs are thriving, often to the detriment of many people trying to earn a living off the land,” said Thune. “Ranchers, landowners and all South Dakotans deserve healthy grasslands that are managed in an environmentally sound and responsible manner beneficial for cattle, wildlife, neighboring landowners and communities. I will continue working with federal and state agencies to see that prairie dogs are managed in a way that balances the needs of landowners with respect to wildlife.”

Senator Thune has frequently advocated for a comprehensive prairie dog management plan. Prairie dogs threaten livestock grazing land and potentially harbor contagious diseases.