Compensation for Damage by Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

Res #: 3-21A
Number: 3
Year: 2021
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS Black Tailed Prairie Dogs are a species protected by The Species at Risk Act; and

WHEREAS Black Tailed Prairie Dogs cause long term damage to both native grassland as well as damage to seeded crop and tame forages; and

WHEREAS damage from Black Tailed Prairie Dogs is not covered by Saskatchewan Crop Insurance’s Wildlife Compensation Program.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to make necessary changes to farm support programs so that producers can be compensated for the damage done by Black Tailed Prairie Dogs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM work with the Provincial Government to negotiate a legal control measure that landowners can implement to address the infestations of Black Tailed Prairie Dog colonies.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

March 30, 2021

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation provides compensation for all grain crops and tame forages damaged by wildlife species like Black Tailed Prairie Dogs. There are three different methods to compensate producers for loss due to Black Tailed Prairie Dog damage: the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, Gopher Damage Feature, or Multi-Peril Establishment or Yield Loss coverage provided through the Crop Insurance Program. All Saskatchewan producers are eligible for the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. Crop Insurance customers are eligible for the Gopher Damage Feature and the Establishment Benefit or Yield Loss coverage. Native pasture is not eligible for wildlife compensation as the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program regulations only compensate for seeded crops.

In regards to Black Tailed Prairie Dog control measures, a process already exists through the Ministry of Environment for individuals to apply and receive a control permit. As part of the draft federal Black Tailed Prairie Dog recovery strategy and action plan, the Ministry of Environment is reviewing its policies to support producers in their efforts to prevent the expansion of Black Tailed Prairie Dogs outside of Grasslands National Park and other proposed critical habitat. As part of this review, work is currently ongoing at the Ministry of Environment to develop a streamlined and clear process for individuals to apply for a permit.

The Honourable David Marit – Minister of Agriculture, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture