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Prairie dog problem at airport could cost thousands

Published January 24, 2012 2:15 pm

Budget • Recommendation for state to pony up $50,000
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Burrowing rodents in southern Utah could cost the state $50,000.

The Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee heard presentations by he Utah Department of Natural Resources and the Utah Geological Survey Tuesday morning, when fiscal analyst Ivan Djambov recommended the state pay $50,000 to build a barrier around the Parowan airport to keep prairie dogs away.

The funding for the fence would come from a one-time state fund under budget bill HB5. Parowan is paying another $50,000 for the fence, along with a grant from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

Djambov said the prairie dogs have become a "public safety issue" by burrowing holes in and under the runway.

Though no decision was made, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, believes a fence isn't enough to fix the prairie dog problem in southern Utah, citing instances where the rodents have dug into caskets in cemeteries and chewed up clothes.

The committee is scheduled to vote on Feb. 13.




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