Posted: Apr 19, 2017 6:38 PM PDTUpdated: May 12, 2017 4:25 PM PDT

BOZEMAN –(Update 4-21-17) MISSOULA- Republican candidate for Montana’s lone seat in Congress, Greg Gianforte came under fire this week over his intentions to go prairie dog hunting with his guest to Montana, Donald Trump Jr.

(see previous story below)

Gianforte took time to talk about his hunt with the first son Friday during his many fundraisers in Montana.

Donald Trump Jr arrived at Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell with Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines Friday afternoon to a crowd of hundreds of supporters.

For more on the Kalispell event, you can click the link HERE

Later in the afternoon Gianforte and the first son traveled to Hamilton for a rally fundraiser at the Hamilton Fairgrounds. It was there that ABC FOX Montana’s David Winter asked Gianforte about the ‘backlash’ he received about his intentions to do some prairie dog hunting from animal activists.

Gianforte responded to our David Winter by giving a message to those who haven’t tried hunting prairie dogs….”You should try it, because its fun.” the candidate told us.

Also during his speech in Hamilton Gianforte revealed a similar message to his crowd.

His supporters of roughly five hundred people cheered.


We are learning more about Trump Junior’s plans for Saturday morning and it’s sparking some controversy with local environmentalists. The Ravalli Republic reported that Gianforte told a crowd in Hamilton Monday that he plans to take Donald Trump Jr. Out to shoot prairie dogs.

It’s important to note that shooting prairie dogs in Montana is completely legal, but at least one wildlife advocate says it is far from ethical.

Dave Pauli Senior Advisor for Wildlife Policy with the Humane Society of The United States said, “I was disappointed I guess that any national or international politician or celebrity would have the opportunity to come to Montana in the spring and their first choice of things they want to do is shoot prairie dogs.”

In a Facebook post posted on Wednesday, Pauli voiced his frustrations about the idea of Gianforte and Trump Jr. Spending their time in Montana shooting prairie dogs.

The Facebook post has garnered a lot of attention with more than 300 likes and 400 shares in just a few hours. And there are plenty of comments on both sides of the issue.

Ruth Gessler Farnsworth simply said, “Awful.”

While Jeremy Parish said, “totally legal and encouraged. Just like the coyote slaughter in most states.”

Shane Scanlon Communication Director for Greg Gianoforte says Ginaforte is proud to hunt in Montana. Scanlon released a statement saying…

“Hunting is a big part of gain forte’s life; he’s a sportsman and an outdoorsman and tries to get out when he can. He’s just looking to have a good time with Donald Trump Jr. and shooting some prairie dogs this weekend.”

Pauli says he’d rather see the duo hit a shooting range.

Trump Junior’s first appearance in Montana will be on Friday in Kalispell, from there he will visit Hamilton and close out his trip in Bozeman.

He’s attending several fundraisers for Gianforte who is running against Democrat Rob Quist for Montana’s lone congressional seat.

Prairie Dogs Beneficial to Health of Soils, Ecosystems. Ignorance Destroys Them

Dear Sami:
Your article on SF “parks” covered many of the issues facing this city in terms of  how progressive (or not) it may be. Prairie Dogs are native animals which existed in the area long before humans. Many of us have worked with these animals, defended them against long-standing ignorance about them– for a couple of decades.
Nothing much changed since  people discovered that the city was systematically poisoning this species (along with birds, and other animals in the process), so parks (really man-made playgrounds) could be developed, along with the ubiquitous strip development, which continues today.
In the late 1990’s 300 people protested in front of city hall in outrage over the massive poisonings going on in the parks, to “get rid of” these native animals.
 It is unclear as to whether or not poisoning continues, but the city has always been at odds with this Keystone species, which is blamed for many of the problems facing these manufactured “park” areas, from destruction of trees, irrigation hose, disappearance of grass, etc.
 Much of this prejudice is long standing–and in light of what is happening in our country today with the roots of racism still with us, I believe what we do to wild animals is also a form of racism: hating beings, blaming our human-caused problems on “those others”  (whether human or non-human), when we know little or nothing about them. The sheer ignorance regarding Prairie Dogs is shameful, in a city which calls itself “progressive.”  What is progressive about destroying thousands of native trees & animals for real estate development?
Your article discussed Frenchy’s Field, which was never intended to be a man-made landscape, for every kind of human activity known to man. The city apparently has not educated its staff to understand the importance of Nature–even within the city limits. Children cannot learn to care about Nature if there is no Nature for them to be in.
At least 98% of Prairie Dog populations are gone, due to  poisoning, shooting, and rampant development. The small colonies of animals surviving in & around Santa Fe are the refugees from these mindless, destructive  human actions. Perhaps Santa Fe needs another protest down at the City Hall–in front of the Statue of St. Francis, looking down at–a Prairie Dog.
Rosemary Lowe
Marc Bedner
Scott Smith
Santa Fe, NM

Serial Killing for Shopping Malls

The Earth is being raped, strangled and left for dead by people who care only about themselves and what they can get in the short term. The suffering of others is inconsequential. Indeed, they pride themselves in their ability to disregard the cries and struggles of their targets, whom they objectify while denying their very sentience. Like psychopathic serial killers, they ignore the rights and welfare of their victims, intentional or incidental.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Activists continue fight for prairie dogs

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

by Mike DiFerdinando  3/2/15

Group explores options to protect wildlife from future development

As protesters stood at Founders Parkway and Factory Shops Boulevard — waving signs and shouting at drivers to help save the prairie dogs — a few hundred yards behind them exterminators were already laying traps.

The grass-roots campaign, called Save the Castle Rock Prairie Dogs, wants to push back the construction of the Promenade at Castle Rock, at the north end of town between I-25 and U.S. Highway 85, near the Outlets at Castle Rock, until June.

That’s when the animals, many of them pregnant, could be moved. The prairie dogs are being trapped with baited cages. It is unknown how or if they are being killed at this time.

“Of course I was at the protest,” said Castle Rock resident Keith Lattimore-Walsh, one of about 40 protesters at the Feb. 24 rally. “My heart won’t allow me to do anything less than to fight for those who cannot speak.”

The controversy is part of the town’s continued conversation about growth and began when more than 20 residents spoke out against the Promenade at the Feb. 17 council meeting.

Activists said they hope snowy conditions and the slow pace of capture will give them time to find available land for relocation of the colony — about 1,000 prairie dogs.

“It’s slow, they aren’t capturing many at a time,” said Brian Ertz, board president of the activist organization the Wildlands Defense.

Alberta Development Partners, the developer behind the Promenade, could not be reached for comment about the removal of the prairie dogs, despite repeated attempts by the News-Press.

Town officials reiterated their stance that the situation is a matter of a private developer building on private land, therefore they have no jurisdiction to stop or delay construction.

This would be different if the prairie dogs were protected by state law, which they aren’t, because they are not an endangered species. [Not officially, buy they should be on the list–I challenge anyone who says prairie dogs are still common throughout the state.]


Urge Colorado Developer to Halt Prairie Dog Massacre!

Poisoning and fumigation—the most common methods of killing prairie dogs—cause convulsions, vomiting, internal bleeding, gradual pulmonary and cardiac collapse, and a variety of other reactions that cause animals immense suffering and a slow, agonizing death. Yet developers of The Promenade at Castle Rock, a 160-acre mall project underway in the town of Castle Rock, Colorado, reportedly want to massacre hundreds (possibly thousands) of these animals who call the site’s open spaces and wetland areas their home. And despite an outcry from compassionate citizens, the Castle Rock Town Council has green-lighted this slaughter, which is scheduled to occur in the coming weeks. Your voice is needed!

Using the form below, please politely urge Alberta Development Partners and Castle Rock officials to halt this cruel killing initiative and to employ humane prairie dog control methods instead. And please forward this message widely!

Please send polite comments to:

Peter Cudlip, Principal
Alberta Development Partners

Castle Rock Town Council

Please feel free to use our sample letter, but remember that using your own words is always more effective.

Essential Species Quiz

Here is a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge of our fellow animals.

Instructions: Choose the species that best fit the descriptions below.

Note: Although some may share a few of the characteristics, they must meet all the criteria listed in order to qualify as a correct answer.

1. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Highly social
  • Live in established communities
  • Master planners and builders of complex, interconnected dwellings
  • Have a language
  • Can readily learn and invent words
  • Greet one another by kissing

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Dolphins

D. Penguins

Answer:  A. and B

2. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Practice communal care of the youngsters on their block
  • Beneficial to others who share their turf
  • Essential to the health of their environment
  • Without them an ecosystem unravels
  • Have been reduced to a tiny portion of their original population
  • Vegetarian

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Bison

D. Hyenas

Answer:  B. and C.

3. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Out of control pest
  • Multiplying at a phenomenal pace
  • Physically crowding all other life forms off the face of the earth
  • Characterized by a swellheaded sense of superiority
  • Convinced they are of far greater significance than any other being
  • Nonessential in nature’s scheme

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Cockroaches

D. Sewer Rats

Answer:  Sorry, trick question; the only species fitting the criteria is A.

If this seems a harsh assessment of the human race or a tad bit misanthropic, remember, we’re talking about the species that single-handedly and with malice aforethought blasted, burned and poisoned the passenger pigeon (at one time the most numerous bird on the entire planet) to extinction and has nearly wiped out the blue whale (by far the largest animal the world has ever known). Add to those crowning achievements the near-total riddance of the world’s prairie dogs, thereby putting the squeeze on practically all their grassland comrades, and you can start to see where this sort of disrelish might be coming from.

When the dust settles on man’s reign of terror, he will be best remembered as an egomaniacal mutant carnivorous ape who squandered nature’s gifts and goose-stepped on towards mass extinction, in spite of warnings from historians and scientists and pleas from the caring few…


The preceding was an excert from the book, Exposing the Big Game.

Happy Prairie Dog Day!

      Keystone Prairie Dogs

Celebrate Prairie Dog Day

February 2nd has been nationally recognized as Groundhog Day since 1841, but in recent years, wildlife organizations officially added Prairie Dog Day to the date as a way to inform and educate the public on how important they are to the prairie ecosystem.

Urgent Call to Action

A Colorado mall developer takes lethal path with plans to kill approximately 5000 prairie dogs to construct a supermall in Castle Rock.  Protestors hope to force Alberta Development LLC to delay their extermination plans until June 1, to give conservationists time to find and prepare land where the prairie dogs can be safely moved, while the females will remain underground with their babies.  If the developer proceeds with the current timeframe, it will cause thousands of prairie dogs that aren’t trapped and killed to be fatally entombed.  READ FULL STORY HERE.

Federal Prairie Dog Conservation Report Remains Grim

WildEarth Guardians released their seventh annual Report from the Burrow to coincide with Prairie Dog Day and the grades given to federal and state agencies on the success of managing prairie dog populations remain poor.  The report reveals that “while a few states and federal agencies are improving their prairie dog conservation efforts—the generally deplorable status quo, where these intelligent, ecologically important animals are treated as pests and widely poisoned, gassed and shot—remains largely unchanged.”  Grades range from a B shared by the National Park Service and the state of Arizona to an F given to the Environmental Protection Agency.  SEE THE REPORT HERE.

Goodbye to PrairieDogPress

Since October 2012, PrairieDogPress has been the marketing arm of Keystone Prairie Dogs with footnotes to the KPD website linked at the bottom of each article published at the online news site Allvoices/Pulsepoint.  However, due to changes in that company’s platform to sponsored content only, freelance contractors will no longer be able to publish on the site, though their pages will remain as copyrighted property of AV.  Therefore, since the Examiner column KPD utilizes for wildlife and prairie dog content prohibits such promotion, KPD launched its own political and social commentary Facebook platform designed to broaden exposure.  The new page is called “Keystone Prairie Dogs Sunnyside Left” and we invite everyone to stop by, check it out and give us a “like”. IT CAN BE ACCESSED HERE.

Also, Keystone Prairie Dog website recently added two new pages: Newsroom and Memes.  CHECK THEM OUT HERE.

Thanks for your support of America’s meerkats and have a great spring everyone!

How Many Wolves Died for Your Hamburger?



Population and Sustainability Director, Center for Biological Diversity


When you bite into a hamburger or steak, you already know the cost to the cow, but what about the wolves, coyotes, bears and other wildlife that were killed in getting that meat to your plate?

There are a lot of ways that meat production hurts wildlife, from habitat taken over by feed crops to rivers polluted by manure to climate change caused by methane emissions. But perhaps the most shocking is the number of wild animals, including endangered species and other non-target animals, killed by a secretive government agency for the livestock industry.

Last year Wildlife Services, an agency within the Department of Agriculture, killed more than 2 million native animals. While wolf-rancher conflicts are well known, the death toll provided by the agency also included 75,326 coyotes, 3,700 foxes and 419 black bears. Even prairie dogs aren’t safe: They’re considered pests, blamed for competing with livestock for feed and creating burrow systems that present hazards for grazing cattle. The agency killed 12,186 black-tailed prairie dogs and destroyed more than 30,000 of their dens.

The methods used to kill these animals are equally shocking: death by exploding poison caps, suffering in inhumane traps and gunned down by men in airplanes and helicopters.

How many of the 2 million native animals were killed to feed America’s meat habit? No one really knows. This is where the secrecy comes in: While we know that they frequently respond to requests from the agricultural community to deal with “nuisance animals,” Wildlife Services operates with few rules and little public oversight. That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity, where I work, has called on the Obama administration to reform this rogue agency to make it more transparent and more accountable. Despite the growing outcry from the public, scientists, non-governmental organizations and members of Congress, the federal agency shows no signs of slowing its killing streak.

There are two important ways that you can help rein in Wildlife Services. First, sign our online petition demanding that the Department of Agriculture create rules and public access to all of the agency’s activities. Second, start taking extinction off your plate. Our growing population will mean a growing demand for meat and for the agency’s deadly services, unless we take steps to reduce meat consumption across the country. By eating less or no meat, you can reduce your environmental footprint and help save wildlife.

Prairie Dog Plague Could Hurt Hunting Business

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Many outfitters bring clients in to hunt pheasants, deer, and even prairie dogs in South Dakota. Recently the population of prairie dogs has been hurt by a plague, but hunters are still showing up in droves.

Prairie dogs may look cute, but their effects on pastures can be catastrophic.

“The prairie dogs from a ranchers stand point eat a lot of grass and almost mow it down to just basically dirt. They do a pretty good job of hurting the value of the land and how well you can utilize it, “said co-owner of Buffalo Butte Dillon Springer.

Some land owners though have found opportunity with the reckless rodents, which some affectionately call the barking squirrel.

“We started doing it five or six years ago just as a small blurb, some of our pheasant hunters wanted to do it, “said Springer.

A recent outbreak of Sylvatic plague has put a huge dent in some prairie dog populations, and that’s a good thing right? Not for outfitters who cater to clients who travel from all over the country to hunt the critters.

“You take those folks from the city who never see land that stretches out as far as this does, and they’ve got their guns that they just can’t shoot, “said Springer.

For many the prairie dog hunt brings a laugh and a reasonably easy shot. But they are now an important slice of the revenue pie for the outfitters.

“They are pretty resilient critters, they can bounce back from a lot of stuff, “said Springer.

Even with a plague and hunters trying to eradicate the vermin, they continue to hold their ground.

Stop the killing of 16,000 prairie dogs

Tell U.S. Forest Service: DO NOT Poison 16,000 Prairie Dogs
Action Alert from


National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
May 2014


The U.S. Forest Service is considering a plan to poison as many as 16,000 prairie dogs in Wyoming’s Thunder Basin National Grassland. Prairie dogs are a keystone species and vital to the survival of many other animals. Tell the Forest Service to reject this heartless plan.

prairie dogs prairie poison
Image by Jim Robertson /
Animals in the Wild

Sign an online petition here

And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

Thomas Whitford
District Ranger, Douglas Ranger district
Thunder Basin National Grassland
c/o US Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Region
740 Simms Street
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 275-5350 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (303) 275-5350 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting


In Wyoming, prairie dogs are slowly recovering from decades of hunting and disease, and Thunder Basin National Grassland contains some of their last protected habitat. But the U.S. Forest Service is considering a plan to poison any prairie dog colonies on the Grassland within a quarter-mile of private or state land. They could kill an estimated 16,000 prairie dogs, which are essential to the survival of many other species. Urge the Forest Service to reject this heartless and misguided plan.


I am outraged at the plan your agency is considering — to kill an estimated 16,000 prairie dogs in Thunder Basin National Grassland. This would be inhumane to the animals and environmentally disastrous for the Thunder Basin ecosystem.

In 2009, in an exemplary decision, you set aside 85,000 acres of grasslands to provide a safe haven for prairie dogs from being shot, poisoned or gassed. Today, the Thunder Basin National Grassland is part of the remaining two percent of America’s untouched prairie grasslands, and contains the best prairie dog habitat in the country. Prairie dogs are essential to the health of our grasslands but are victimized by misinformation and widely extirpated from their former range.

Furthermore, I understand the plan may call for anticoagulant poisons such as Rozol. Rozol, a barbaric poison, can take one to three weeks to kill prairie dogs. After being poisoned, they will bleed internally and externally, wandering more and more disoriented and vulnerable to predators. Animals that feed off of this keystone species — including golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, swift foxes, turkey vultures, badgers, raccoons and coyotes — will also fall victim to the poison and may die.

As a federal agency charged with protecting our nation’s unspoiled flora and fauna, the Forest Service must turn down this plan to poison prairie dogs in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. Please find alternative methods for managing this species and the wildlife which depend on them.


or, send pre-written message here:;jsessionid=D636E670A5DE23260DC829166A1266FA.app338a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3461&s_src=EMOBGNPETNON0514PD&autologin=true&utm_source=nl&utm_medium=articalert&utm_campaign=maybgn

Thank you for everything you do for animals!