By MIKE CORN
As she has done the last three years, WildEarth Guardians' Lauren McCain, issued her annual "Report from the Burrow," a grade card of how state and federal agencies are dealing with prairie dogs.
The report card was issued on Tuesday -- Prarie Dog Day -- groundhog day for the West.
Kansas' grade improved slightly, receiving a D-plus.
"Still not what your parents want to see on your report card," said McCain, prairie protection director for the Denver-based environmental group.
But that's an improvement, she said, brought on mostly because the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks was more willing to provide information to the group.
Specifically, she said that KDWP furbearer biologist Matt Peek said the state had developed conservation easements designed to protect prairie dogs.
"My hope is that will develop into prairie dog conservation," McCain said.
Kansas last year received a D-minus, she said. Initially, Kansas had been given an F.
"I think I might have made an error in the report last year," she said. When she recalculated the total, it came up as a D-minus.
Kansas matches the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service.
McCain gave failing grades to the Environmental Protection Agency -- a newcomer to the list -- and Nebraska.
The EPA was added to the list due to its involvement in registration issues surrounding two blood-thinning poisons to kill prairie dogs. While it has already been registered, Rozol is under review; the poison Kaput-D is being considered.
The maker of Rozol, LiphaTech has resubmitted cancellation notices for local use permits for Rozol in Kansas and five other states. The EPA will take comments on the cancellation through March 4.