By MIKE CORN
Only a few statements were filed in response to the EPA's comment period on a request to allow the use of an insecticide-laced blood-thinning poison on prairie dogs.
But a "wildlife alert" sent out by the group behind the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to seek comments on labeling of the poison resulted in an outcry from its members.
The comment period for registration of Kaput-D -- containing the blood-thinning chemical diphacinone and the insecticide imidacloprid -- for use on prairie dogs expired Oct. 23.
That 30-day comment period garnered only 26 comments.
There is an unrelated second comment period currently under way, that one involving a second blood-thinning chemical that already has been approved for use on prairie dogs.
Audubon of Kansas and Defenders of Wildlife filed suit against EPA for its registration of the chemical for failing to confer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the secondary effects of the chemical and for failing to follow the advice of its own agency.
The comment period for Rozol, which contains the blood-thinner chlorophacinone, was announced after the lawsuit was filed, based on a letter filed by the World Wildlife Fund. That comment period ends Nov. 6.
In the case of the Kaput-D registration, Defenders advocate Jonathan Proctor, who has been involved in the black-footed ferret reintroduction effort in Logan County, said the alert he issued yielded a big response.
"I've never seen a reaction as great as that alert," he said of the Oct. 19 e-mail sent to group members. "I got e-mails and phone calls from members. Usually people will take an action at our request, but people wanted to know more."
In a 93-page document, that group submitted a formal objection to the registration. The formal objection used up slightly more than a page, while the signatures filled the remaining pages -- or about 5,000 names.
Proctor said the interest is there because "the secondary effects of this stuff is going to kill all sorts of wildlife."