Grave problem: Feds blamed as prairie dogs invade Okla. cemetery, digging up bones

…it is expected that the prairie dog population will continue to grow in the Bertrand Cemetery. Representative Murdock believes that the federal government should be more responsive to the needs of local citizens…“Taxpayers expect the federal government to perform its duties, plain and simple. We need a solution to this issue as soon as possible.”

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersTaxpayers are stupid for holding such “expectations.” Since when has the Federal Government ever been “responsive to the needs of local citizens?”

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualIn a free world the solution would be simple, swift and profitable–announce in Prairie Dog Hunter magazine that you have prairie dog hunting for sale. — jtl, 419

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Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewCIMARRON COUNTY, OK –  Federal and state leaders are sparring while a state lawmaker attempts to bring a solution to a rural cemetery in the Oklahoma panhandle, where prairie dogs have run amok.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) The Rita Blanca Grassland runs adjacent to a local cemetery near Felt, Oklahoma. In recent months, prairie dogs have invaded from the grassland into the cemetery, creating sink holes and damaging property.

Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsHuman bones from grave sites dating back to the 1920’s are visible on the surface, and burrows into the earth are evident where relatives of the deceased thought their loved ones would rest peacefully. Roberta Boydston is one of those family members.

“It is very devastating to those who have family buried there. The dogs are undermining the cemetery and causing destruction that no one wants to see.”

Local cemetery officials claim that the U.S. Forest Service has neglected the job of controlling the destructive prairie dogs, and protections over another specie are preventing action being taken.

“It all comes down to [The Forest Service] wanting to introduce an animal called the black footed ferret. The ferret has never lived here and we’ve never seen any in all of our years maintaining the premises,” said Daryl McDaniel, Chairman of the Board of Bertrand Cemetery.

“Introducing and protecting an animal that has never lived here is giving us a lot of headaches. We can’t spread poison to kill the prairie dogs, and that’s our most effective way of doing so.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery plan for the black footed ferret is expected to cost over $150 million by 2040.

Oklahoma State Representative Casey Murdock (R-Felt) has been attempting to spearhead progress on the issue. He says that bringing all sides to the table is what is needed so that all interests are met.

“The cemetery is being overrun, and there’s no doubt about that. It’s imperative that everyone’s concerns are addressed.”

One of those issues centers around the use of poison as a means of population control: a means that Marta Call, Public Affairs Officer with the Forest Service, says isn’t on the table.

“We cannot utilize poison to control the populations based on wildlife protections,” she said. “We have to look at other means of controlling the prairie dogs and keeping them out of the cemetery, because we truly are sympathetic to the issue at hand.”

Rep. Murdock says that he has already been in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, cemetery officials, and the office of Governor Mary Fallin.

“What we need is a buffer zone of at least a mile and a half around the cemetery. The buffer zone will ensure that no more graves are being dug up, and families of the deceased can rest easy.”

Until that meeting, it is expected that the prairie dog population will continue to grow in the Bertrand Cemetery. Representative Murdock believes that the federal government should be more responsive to the needs of local citizens.

“Taxpayers expect the federal government to perform its duties, plain and simple. We need a solution to this issue as soon as possible.”

Seth Paxton is a student in the Fox News Campus Associate Program. Get more information on the program here.


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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

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Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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