Prairie Dog Control Programs Available

June 21, 2013 | By: SD GFP

PIERRE, S.D. - Officials with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture Departments are reminding ranchers and producers to contact either agency if they have unwanted prairie dogs.

The state's prairie dog control program is cooperatively funded by GFP and SDDA. GFP manages encroachment issues on private lands which have been encroached from adjacent public lands, while SDDA manages complaints between private landowners.

"GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached onto? private land from adjacent public land," GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk said. "Landowners who have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within one mile of the public land and have at least 20 acres of actual prairie dog colonies to be eligible for assistance."

Additionally, landowners must contact GFP and report that they have unwanted prairie dogs before August 15, 2013. "GFP provides assistance to many landowners across western South Dakota," Fisk said. "This deadline allows GFP sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of our control program."

If a landowner has a complaint regarding prairie dogs that are encroaching from public land, GFP must be contacted at 605.773.5913 to request control. Once eligibility has been verified, GFP field staff or a department representative will control the invading colony on the private land later this fall. All complaints must be received by the August 15, 2013 deadline.

Landowners that are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land need to contact SDDA or their local county weed and pest board. If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be made.

There are two methods to file a complaint.

The first option is for the effected landowner to sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board. The second method requires a formal complaint (available by calling 800.228.5254 or through the SDDA website at One copy must be sent to SDDA and another copy to the landowner with the invading colony. The mailing address for the Department of Agriculture is 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. Notices of encroachment may be sent in throughout the year. The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen by visiting or by calling GFP at 605.773.3387.

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