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The US Congress voted to keep protections of endangered species residing in only one state, despite efforts by Utah Senator Mike Lee to end protections. Utah Prairie Dogs live only in a few Utah counties. The US Court of Appeals ruled that Utah Prairie dogs have to be protected on both Federal and non-Federal lands. So, the USFWS currently led by Gred Sheehan of Utah decided that they would unprotect them by allowing them to be killed anyway!
In short, the Trump administration in the form of Ryan Zinke (Dept. of Interior) and Greg Sheehan (USFWS) are destroying the intent of the other two branches of government. Isn’t that called Dictatorship? An Executive Coup d’Etat appears to be ongoing. See for instance: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/trump-administration-must-answer-why-nominees-are-serving-without-senate-confirmation-write-us-senators-udall-leahy-feinstein-blumenthal/

A no-brainer that the Utah Prairie Dog is at least one of the endangered species in Utah Senator Mike Lee’s sights, probably literally so. The Trump administration renewed the right to kill endangered and supposedly protected Utah Prairie dogs despite the recent court ruling to protect them, and despite the US Congress voting to uphold existing protections. The US Congress voted and a US Court ruled to protect the Utah Prairie dog and the Trump administration Greg Sheehan – Ryan Zinc destroy the efforts of the other branches of government – just like that. Enough already! Hurry up and get the impeachment going – the impeachment trials take a very long time and damage is being rapidly done.

Looks like Greg Sheehan has it in for the Utah Prairie dog, even though he kind of looks like one!

What is that jacket made of?
Greg Sheehan was appointed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the nation’s principal Federal agency dedicated to the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats, as principal deputy director on June 17, 2017. A career conservation professional, Sheehan served for 25 years in the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources – the last five years as the agency’s Director. He is currently serving as Principal Deputy Director…https://www.fws.gov/OFFICES/greg-sheehan.html

Link: http://youtu.be/R5acRKQR0iM
Senator Carper Leads Charge to Defeat Amendment Stripping Protections from Endangered Species
October 20, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night during debate on the Senate Republicans’ budget resolution, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led the charge to defeat a dangerous amendment that sought to remove protections for endangered species. Specifically, the amendment, offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) would lay the groundwork to prohibit federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for species found entirely within the borders of a single state.

As of 2017, roughly 77% of listed species, or over 1,000 species, were intrastate species whose ranges did not cross state borders. Denying these intrastate species protections would strip ESA protections from every listed plant or animal on the island of Hawaii, as well as protections for iconic animals like the polar bear and the Florida panther.

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 51-49, with every Democratic senator and three Republican senators voting against it.” Permalink: https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/10/senator-carper-leads-charge-to-defeat-amendment-stripping-protections-from-endangered-species


Court Mandates Endangered Species Act Regulation of Utah Prairie Dogs on Non-Federal Lands
For Immediate Release
August 18, 2017
DENVER – The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a mandate yesterday, which reinstates Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulation of the threatened Utah prairie dog on non-federal lands. The decision overturns a 2014 U.S. District Court for the District of Utah decision that removed federal ESA protection for the species on non-federal lands and transferred management to the State of Utah. The species is now regulated under the ESA across all land ownerships.

“Our focus now,” said Larry Crist, Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Utah Ecological Services Field Office, “is to work cooperatively with our partners at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, local counties, and landowners to continue conservation of the Utah prairie dog in a flexible and collaborative manner.”

Kevin Bunnell, Southern Region Supervisor for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, stated, “We are working collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to carry forward many of the successful principles in the State’s management plan as we transition to federal management. We will also continue working closely with the Service to conserve and manage Utah prairie dog populations, while striving to minimize their impacts on residents and business owners.”

“We believe that the Endangered Species Act process works best when we build strong partnerships between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, states, and local communities, rather than through litigation and court mandates,” said Greg Sheehan, Principle Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “We appreciate the state’s management planning efforts for the species and hope to use many of those approaches as a conservation model moving forward.”

One of the management tools reinstated upon issuance of the mandate is the 1998 Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Iron County, which was designed to authorize take of Utah prairie dogs in some circumstances.  The majority of requests for incidental take of Utah prairie dogs are from Iron County.

In addition to the 1998 HCP, the Service is also reinstating a 4(d) rule, which is a range-wide tool to help reduce conflicts for private landowners. The 4(d) rule authorizes lethal take of Utah prairie dogs where they cause conflicts with agricultural uses or human health and safety. 

The Service is also working with the State of Utah, counties, and other partners to prepare a General Conservation Plan (GCP) that integrates the State’s management plan, meets the ESA legal framework, and provides a streamlined process for developers or landowners to obtain take permits for development projects. While the GCP is designed to meet near-term needs, the overall long-term goal is to replace the GCP with a locally-driven conservation strategy for the Utah prairie dog. 

The Utah prairie dog was listed as endangered in 1973 and down-listed to threatened in 1984.  Utah prairie dogs occur in Iron, Beaver, Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sevier, and Wayne Counties in central and southwestern Utah. Recent Utah prairie dog population trends are stable to increasing, but the species remains vulnerable to habitat loss and plague.” [AND PEOPLE KILLING THEM – SEE “LETHAL TAKE” ABOVE.]

Learn more about the species: https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/utahPrairieDog.php.

Utah Prairie Dog 10th District Court Mandate Questions and Answers

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/.
– FWS –



News Release Date: April 6, 2010
Contact: Sarah Haas

Bryce Canyon National Park Hosts its First Annual Utah Prairie Dog Day

Click to access UT%20Prairie%20Dog_Mandate_Q%20and%20A.pdf

Bryce Canyon National Park Acting Superintendent Jacque Lavelle invites you to join the park’s first annual Utah Prairie Dog Day celebration on Friday April 30.

A year-round inhabitant of Bryce Canyon’s high plateau meadows, the Utah Prairie Dog is an important component of the park’s ecosystem. Although called a prairie “dog,” this species is actually a member of the rodent family. Prairie dogs live in complex social colonies or “towns.” Their burrow systems are made up of several chambers and provide protection from predators, places to raise young, store food, and hibernate through the cold winter months. Utah Prairie Dogs are considered “keystone species” that perform a variety of important ecological functions including soil aeration which helps plants grow, providing prey for other animals, and maintaining healthy meadow ecosystems.

The Utah Prairie Dog has been federally listed under the Endangered Species Act since 1973 and is protected as a threatened species. Bryce Canyon National Park reintroduced the Utah Prairie Dog to park meadows from 1974 through 1988 and is the only National Park Service unit where they occur. Today, approximately 200 Utah Prairie Dogs are found within several meadow complexes within the Park. Every year these colonies are monitored and counted to track the health of the animals and their habitat.

Park Biologist Sarah Haas states, “This year Bryce Canyon is celebrating the Utah prairie dog and its role as a keystone species in the park. This is the first time the park has dedicated a special event to this species and it’s exciting to try and get more people informed and excited about this unique and important animal.”

The celebration will occur on Friday, April 30, 2010 from 9 a.m. through the evening with planned activities that include watching Utah prairie dogs in their natural habitat with a Park Ranger, special presentations on Utah prairie dogs, and a kids’ table with activities and refreshments. Most activities will take place during the day at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center with a special evening program at the Bryce Canyon Lodge.

Local schools will be invited to participate in an art contest with a Utah prairie dog theme – prizes will be awarded the afternoon of the celebration. Event information and entry forms are available at: Utah Prairie Dog Day. All entries will be displayed at the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center on Utah Prairie Dog Day, Friday, April 30th. “We are so excited to have local kids involved in this celebration and come to the park to learn about our Utah prairie dog,” states Marilyn Bulkley, Bryce Canyon Natural History Association Education Specialist.

In addition, the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association will be unveiling its “Adopt – a Prairie Dog” program. For a $30 donation, you will receive a plush prairie dog and a frameable personalized certificate (mailed separately) noting your support of the prairies dogs in Bryce Canyon National Park.

“And the best part,” adds Larry Thrower, Bryce Canyon Fee Collection Supervisor, “is that if you’re a Utahan, all you have do is show your driver’s license and tell staff at the entrance booth, ‘We’ve come to see the prairie dogs!’ and we’ll let you in for free!”
Last updated: February 24, 2015