Date of Award:

5-1981

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Committee

John P. Workman

Committee

E. Bruce Godfrey

Committee

James T. O'Rourke

Abstract

Prairie dog control was found to be economically feasible on the Conata basin in South Dakota with future annual maintenance control to prevent re-invasions. The large difference between the present net worth values of the two viewpoints ($2587 for the U.S. Forest Service acting as an agent of the sovereign and $109,011 for the ranchers ) was due to the added costs of environmental considerations included in the U.S. Forest Service control program, but assumed not to be included in control by ranchers. In order for prairie dog control to remain economically feasible, annual maintenance control for the U.S. Forest Service must be below 5 percent of the total initially controlled acreage in the control program (9 percent for the rancher viewpoint).

Sun sedge (Carex heloiphila) constituted the major cattle forage increase from control in this study while western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii), the dominant mid-grass in the area, showed no increase in production after five years of prairie dog elimination. Overall, 84 pounds per acre of usable cattle forage was gained from control.

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8129cf91109b24879c6aeea3a96aa007

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