Judge upholds plan to relocate Utah prairie dogs

Salt Lake City, Utah (AP) 4-09

A federal judge has upheld a plan to remove threatened Utah prairie dogs from a golf course and nearby tribal lands in southern Utah.

Environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 over a plan allowing the prairie dogs to be removed from the Cedar Ridge Golf Course and land owned by the Paiute tribe.

The groups say the work threatens the prairie dogs, which are on the endangered species list.

The agency says the plan to remove the prairie dogs from the golf course and tribal lands also included more than 300 acres elsewhere that will be prime and protected prairie dog habitat.

District Judge Clark Waddoups upheld the agency plan.

Lauren McCain, with WildEarth Guardians, says an appeal of Waddoups’ decision is planned.