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Lawsuit filed over federal prairie dog regulations

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FILE: A photo of a prairie dog.

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Cedar City announced on Thursday that they’re filing a lawsuit against federal prairie dog regulations.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners say the prairie dog infestation harms them by causing damage to their sports fields, golf courses and cemeteries, and they cause hazards at airport runways.

Federal officials say it would take a years-long process before doing anything, or they can pay $42,000 to do away with them.

“It could show up on your property one day, in which case, you very well may lose the rights you have to use and develop your property. We don’t think that’s right. We don’t think the constitution allows the federal government to regulate the Utah prairie dog and to regulate away your constitutional rights to develop your property,” said Jonathan Wood, attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued as statement saying, “Our policy is not to comment on active lawsuits. However, we are always disappointed when litigation is seen as the best vehicle to address conservation challenges.”