All My Relations
AMR has created a Prairie Dog Companion, a green-themed variety show which parodies the NPR favorite, A Prairie Home Companion. The show offers many of that radio show's familiar features, adapted to Port Townsends's community life, moods and eccentricities: Guy LeBlanc, Surreal Estate Agent; Family Ties: messages from the audience to be read on the air; and the News from Port Townsend, in PT Briefs, the Shorts Version: bold forays into local hearsay and innuendo. Conceived and directed by Raven, co-founder of All My Relations, APDC- 2004 is a celebration of community; local performing arts, world community, and interspecies kinship. By putting Prairie Dogs in the limelight, the show draws lighthearted, comic attention to the serious issues of ecological balance and sustainable community.
Animal Defense League of Arizona
ADLA helped relocate an entire prairie dog colony when urban development threatened to destroy its habitat. A total of 179 animals were spared death by poison. Helping Habitat Harmony Save Prairie Dogs: 299 Prairie Dogs Successfully Relocated in Flagstaff ADLA monitors the Arizona Game and Fish Department and challenges unsound wildlife management practices.
Animal Protection Institute
The Animal Protection Institute (API) submits written comments to government agencies on issues concerning the status, protection, and "management" of prairie dogs at both the state and federal level.
API has also fought against the exploitation of prairie dogs by the pet industry and encouraged the CDC and FDA to make permanent the ban on the trade in prairie dogs as "pets" following the 2003 monkeypox outbreak.
API educates the public about the importance of prairie dog ecosystems through its "Humane Ways to Live with Wildlife" and "Eating to Save the Environment" presentations.
API is in a position to offer additional support to the Coalition's efforts through their national Action Alert team, grassroots activists, and through their quarterly magazine "Animal Issues" and their newsletter "Bulletin."
The Center for Native Ecosystems
In an important victory for the white-tailed prairie dog, Center for Native Ecosystems prevailed in an effort to protect the largest remaining colony in Montana from the destructive impacts of oil and gas drilling. CNE was joined by Wildlands CPR and the Eastern Wildlands Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association in filing a protest of the lease sale in the prairie dog colony in January 2002.
The State of Utah and the Utah state office of the Bureau of Land Management added the white-tailed prairie dog to their Sensitive Species lists late last month. The addition adds a layer of protection for this beleaguered prairie dog species. A CNE-led coalition petitioned to protect the white-tailed prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act in February 2003 and is now seeking help from the federal courts in forcing conservation action.
CNE is leading a coalition of groups seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the prairie dog.
Forest Guardians is a New Mexico-based conservation organization whose mission is to preserve and restore wildlands and wildlife in the American Southwest through fundamental reform of public policies and practices. Forest Guardians' endangered species program prioritizes focal species, whose safeguarding will provide collateral benefits to suites of native plants and animals.
Foremost among Forest Guardians' priorities is the protection of prairie dog species. In 1998, Forest Guardians' current Endangered Species Director (then working for the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, which has since dissolved) wrote the petition to list the black-tailed prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Since that time, Forest Guardians has submitted extensive reports to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and other agencies which document continued threats against the black-tailed prairie dog and the need for on-the-ground protections and federal ESA listing. In 2003, Forest Guardians and partner groups filed a petition to upgrade the Utah prairie dog to Endangered classification under the ESA, which would afford this critically imperiled species more protection.
In 2004, Forest Guardians and a broad coalition filed a petition to list the Gunnison's prairie dog under the ESA. With this action, all five species of prairie dogs are now listed under the ESA or petitioned for listing. Forest Guardians intends to file suit in the coming months over the failure of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the black-tailed prairie dog under the ESA, which has been a candidate for listing since February 2004; and the failure of the Service to issue a finding on the Utah prairie dog upgrade petition, which is mandated under the ESA.
A library of prairie dog advocacy materials is located on Forest Guardians' Endangered Species website: on the black-tailed, Utah, and Gunnison's prairie dog pages.
In addition, Forest Guardians and partner groups are pushing for listing of the mountain plover under the ESA.
The Fund for Animals
The Fund has submitted comments on numerous environmental analyses dealing with prairie dog management and has also participated in litigation efforts to afford the species greater protection.
Great Plains Restoration Council
GPRC has begun The Million Acre Project, a national community effort to restore and protect a million connected acres as a prairie Safe Zone. The Million Acre Project is the first step in the coming real-life realization of wild, free-roaming buffalo herds from Mexico to Canada.
Kathy Boucher - Prairie Dog Specialists, Inc.
Kathy Boucherís work with prairie dogs began in 1998 working with Prairie Ecosystem Conservation Alliance, and in 2000, she and Becky Deck and formed Prairie Dog Specialists, a non-profit foundation. It was created to give developers and municipalities a "No Excuse" to relocating prairie dogs along the front range in Colorado. PDSís other mission was to make prairie dogs socially acceptable in an urban setting, which is to say, telling the truth about these remarkable animals and expelling a myriad of myths and rumors. For fun they created a traveling library display of historical prairie dog artifacts which has grown into a museum collection and also have collected almost every book written about Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs to have as reference sources. They also have an education program, "Prairie Dog Tales" for all audiences, and through the telling of this story, along with wonderful excerpts from Disney's "The Vanishing Prairie" video, we know that we are continuing to open the door to public awareness.
Midwest Prairie Dog Shelter
Dianne James has been an active participant in prairie dog relocations in the Denver area, and has also contributed efforts toward scientific research into prairie dog anatomy, biology and epidemiology. An advocate on behalf of species preservation and protection, she has lobbied for legislation and policies to assist prairie dogs and provided resource material, through a website she maintains, and through printed material, to other advocates as well as lawmakers and government administrators. Her hands on care with the species includes the black-tailed and Gunnison species.
Prairie Dog Action
PDA is an organization committed to saving the black-taile prairie dog. PDA accomplishes its mission by practicing successful relocation methods. PDA has moved thousands of prairie dogs out of the path of development and onto protected lands. Among the relocation efforts PDA offers education along Colorado's front range.
Rocky Mountain Animal Defense
Mobilized citizens in communities along Colorado's Front Range to help defend the black-tailed prairie dog and the associated short- and mixed-grass prairie ecosystems from the continuing threats of development, ranching, and recreational shooting - played the leading role in organizing two national summits on prairie wildlife advocacy and in creating the Prairie Dog Coalition.
Convinced the Boulder Valley School District (Colorado) to abandon lethal control of prairie wildlife and worked with the district to humanely relocate four prairie dog colonies Pursued litigation, including an ongoing case challenging the State of Colorado for its approval of wildlife poisoning.
Through a sustained campaign of civil disobedience, helped persuade the Colorado Wildlife Commission to severely restrict contest killing of wildlife Worked with the City of Boulder (Colorado) to enact an ordinance protecting pigeons and other birds from poisoning and harassment.
Southern Plains Land Trust
SPLT has succeeded in reserving over 1,300 acres of a shortgrass prairie network that enables native plant and animal communities to once again thrive with minimal human intervention.
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
SUWA joined with the Center for Native Ecosystems, Forest Guardians, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, and other groups and individuals to petition the FWS to list the White-tailed prairie dog (WTPD) as threatened or endangered under the ESA. SUWA advocates for the passage of America's Redrock Wilderness Act - a bill introduced in both houses of Congress - that would designate over 9 million acres of BLM lands in Utah as Wilderness, including hundreds of thousands of acres of WTPD habitat. SUWA is also actively involved in challenging potentially harmful on-the-ground activities in WTPD habitat, including oil and gas exploration and development.
T&E, Inc. is a not for profit, private foundation formed by Tom and Eleanor Wootten. Our major focus has been a mini grant program to assist in field research in conservation biology. Principally we work with graduate students and are careful to screen not only for the value of their project but the long term aspirations of the student. Our geographic focus is New Mexico, Arizona, northern Mexico and on rare occasion southwest Texas. This research focus has given us an opportunity to work with some researchers in New Mexico and Mexico working with prairie dogs or related species such as burrowing owl.
Wild Utah Project
The white-tailed prairie dog is one of the "focal species" that informed Wild Utah Project's analysis and designation of core areas in the recently released "Heart of the West" wildlands network design for the Wyoming Basins and surrounding mountainous areas (see here for more details on this reserve design effort and how focal species are used in the design process). Since white-tailed prairie dogs were one key consideration for which sensitive habitats were designated as core areas, the protection and better management of these cores will benefit prairie dog communities and the other species that rely on prairie dog towns. Wild Utah Project is currently working with many Heart of the West Coalition partners to implement these core areas on the ground, through a variety of proactive, cooperative, administrative and legal means (again, see our website for more on Heart of the West implementation!).
In addition to our efforts regarding white-tailed prairie dogs and other focal species connected to the Heart of the West wildlands network and conservation plan, we also assist our regional conservation partners in their efforts to provide protections for the prairie dog species that occur in Utah. This includes supporting the work of the Center for Native Ecosystems and the CNE-led petitioned to protect the white-tailed prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act, as well as the great work of Forest Guardians and their efforts with the Utah prairie dog.
Wildlands Conservation Alliance
Wildlands Conservation Alliance was established in 2001 to further the conservation and management of grassland ecosystems, with a special emphasis on prairie dogs. Since 2003 we have been developing non-lethal management solutions for dealing with prairie dogs and consulted with residents, business owners and local schools in the Flagstaff area about how to implement such methods. In 2004, WCA joined other organizations in the effort to list the Gunnisonís prairie dog. Currently, Wildlands Conservation Alliance is seeking grant funding for a series of projects. Additionally, WCA is starting a fundraising campaign to raise monies that will allow us to purchase large tracts of prairie dog habitat in and around Flagstaff, AZ.
Many thanks and much respect goes out to each individual involved in the achievements for the prairie dog and their ecosystem.