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Utah prairie dog comeback forces change to state management

A prairie dog nibbles on a bit of zucchini at it's new colony after being trucked some 25 miles away from Cedar City, Utah, on Aug. 6, 2015.

A prairie dog nibbles on a bit of zucchini at it's new colony after being trucked some 25 miles away from Cedar City, Utah, on Aug. 6, 2015. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Prairie dogs, found only in the southwestern part of the state, are making a comeback. Consequently, the Utah Wildlife Board of the Division of Wildlife Resources has approved changes to how it will manage the animal.

Populations of the Utah prairie dog have increased threefold since they were listed as endangered in 1973.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resource's new plan allows for the agency to monitor the animals' recovery, but also allows prairie dogs to be removed if their behavior conflicts with the needs of property owners.

The rule only goes into effect once the prairie dogs are delisted.

The Utah Wildlife Board also made some minor adjustments to rules involving bear hunting. Now, all hunters must complete an orientation course and the Division of Wildlife Resources must update its bear pursuit policy.

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OutdoorsUtahEnvironment
Heather Kelly and Elizabeth Weiler

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