PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) want to remind South Dakota landowners to register for assistance with prairie dog encroachment from public lands. The deadline for enrollment is August 15.
The state’s prairie dog control program is cooperatively operated by GFP and DANR. GFP manages encroachment issues for prairie dogs that move from public lands to adjacent private lands while DANR verifies complaints between private landowners.
GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached onto private land from adjacent public land, excluding municipalities and tribal lands. 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 10 acres of actual prairie dog colonies to be eligible for assistance. Eligibility will be verified for every control request.
Landowners must register online to request assistance with unwanted prairie dogs before August 15, 2021. If landowners have questions about the program, they can contact GFP at 605.394.2391. Once eligibility is verified in the fall (Aug-Oct), GFP staff or a department representative will begin control measures on the private land. Timing can vary depending on several factors such as weather and location, thus control may not take place immediately following eligibility verification.
Landowners who are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land should contact the DANR. If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed written complaint must be completed in one of two ways:
The affected landowner must sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local county’s Weed and Pest Board.
The landowner must submit a formal written complaint to the DANR, as well as mail a copy to the neighboring landowner. DANR will verify if the statutory guidelines have been met and if necessary, refer the landowner to their local county weed and pest board for enforcement. Landowners can find the form on the DANR’s website, danr.sd.gov, or by calling the DANR at 605.773.3796. Notices of private land encroachment may be sent to the DANR throughout the year.
The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan is also available online gfp.sd.gov/management-plans.