Results and Accomplishments
Since the Partnership began in 2003, 2 landowners and 1 grazing association have become involved. These projects involve the restoration of prairie dog habitat, and in one case the re-introduction of a new colony on private lands. Although small in size, these projects are highly significant in building trust within the private agricultural community. These model projects demonstrate that incentive-based approaches can help landowners overcome the economic and regulatory hurdles they may face in working with listed species. If this approach can work with controversial species like the prairie dog, it is likely to work for a host of other species across the country. The Partnership has already begun to see increased interest in participation from landowners. Five additional projects are pending.
In addition to the successes with individual landowners, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration has developed a conservation bank on State lands. This conservation bank will restore habitat and increase prairie dog numbers mitigating for the take of prairie dogs in other locations. This project will restore several hundred acres of prairie dog habitat over the next decade.