black-tailed praririe dog, wildlife management, environmental impact, grasslands
This limited analysis resulted from a request by the Nebraska National Forest to provide some economic estimates to the value of changes in forage availability that would result from three proposed levels of rodenticide use in the management of black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPD) on the Nebraska National Forest (NNF) and associated units managed by NNF (i.e. Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, Ft. Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota, and the Oglala National Grasslands in Nebraska.) The values of changes in forage availability were determined based on three alternatives of rodenticide use. These alternatives include: (1) limit use of rodenticides to only protect public health & safety and maintain facilities; (2) maintain a 1 mile buffer zone to prevent encroachment of BTPDs onto adjacent private or tribal agricultural land; and (3) provide a 1 mile buffer zone in the Conata Basin area (under specific conditions), ¼ mile buffer on the Ft. Pierre National Grasslands, and ¼ mile buffer everywhere else. Two levels of estimates were provided by the NNF estimating the change in available forage from BTPD expansion given: (1) normal to above normal precipitation, and (2) below normal precipitation; over a 1 0 year period. Forage change estimates where provided by the NNF in pounds and in terms of Animal Unit Months (AUMs) of grazing. A 3 year average of hay prices ($70.00/ton) and AUM rates ($16.63/AUM) from the SD Agricultural Statistic Service were used to value the change in forage availability. The results of this analysis showed that under Alternative 1, the value of the change in forage availability in pounds range from loss of $79,870 to $212,065 from the low to high projected expansion of BTPD colonies. In terms of AUM value this loss ranged from $48,686 to $1292 08. Under Alternative 2, the value of the change in forage availability in pounds range from a gain of $59,185 to $62,860 from the low to high projected decrease in BTPD colonies. In terms of AUM value this gain ranged from $36,029 to $38,274. With respect to Alternative 3, there was an overall gain in value from the reduction of BTPD colonies. In terms of pounds of available forage this value ranged from $9, 065 to $23,835 and in AUM value from $5,506 to $14,521. Only the Ft. Pierre National Grassland had a loss of value under the low BTPD expansion estimate of $2,065 in the value per ton and $1,264 in the AUM value under Alternative 3.
Department of Economics, South Dakota State University
Number of Pages
Beutler, Martin, "Economic Analysis Prepared for the Environmental Impact Statement on Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Conservation and Management on the Nebraska National Forest and Associated Units" (2004). Economics Staff Paper Series. 175.