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Most prairie dogs trump developers



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PAROWAN, Utah (AP) -- The federally protected prairie dog is slowing down development in Iron County.

Home builders complain they have to wait as long as three years to obtain a prairie dog removal permit under the rules.

The Iron County Commission voted Monday to limit the permits to seven -- out of 82 requests for prairie dog removals.

Developers with permission to kill or remove prairie dogs have to pay $1,000 an acre in mitigation fees.

With rapid growth in southern Utah, demand exceeds the supply for relocation permits.

Byron Bastian, a home builder in Enoch, says he's borrowing money but is unable to build any homes even on property waiting with roads, sewer and water service.

Bastian says he can't build and he can't sell anything and he's struggling to pay interest on his loans.

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Information from: The Spectrum

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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