In Utah, Praire Dog Managment Goes the Way of Carbon Emissions


Developers in Utah can now by dispensations to ‘offset’ construction impacts to prairie dog populations.

According to Deseret News…

A new program to pay farmers and ranchers to protect Utah prairie dogs on their land may help finally push the threatened animals off the endangered species list, according to organizers.

About $400,000 in federal funds will pay for a pilot program to buy conservation easements on private land with at least 20 prairie dogs on 40 acres. The landowner could still farm and ranch but not develop the land.

Developers elsewhere could then purchase credits to offset their effects on prime prairie dog habitat.

The prairie dogs in southern Utah have been federally protected since 1973. They have struggled to recover, partly because about 75 percent live on private land with few guaranteed protections, so they don’t count toward the government’s population goals. To which The Pulse would ask, “So they may not really be struggling at all?

Organizers of the new “credits exchange program” say it has the potential to boost protection on private land, increase prairie dog numbers and provide developers willing to pay extra with a way to build on certain land that already has prairie dogs.

Wetlands mitigation is one thing but this takes it just a little too far.

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