Prairie dog petition denied, Eric Brown’s painting added to City Hall

By Holly Coombs

CEDAR CITY–Mayor Maile Wilson has announced that the United States Fish and Wildlife has taken control of the prairie dog situation.

“I just got a call about the Tenth Circuit Court decided to deny the petition for the re-hearing so as of Monday at midnight. Everything will revert back to control with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for the prairie dogs,” Wilson told city council members last week.

On Aug. 8, the Tenth Circuit denied a petition to have the entire court hear “People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners’” constitutional challenge to the Endangered Species Act. Since 2014, the state has worked with property owners to protect the prairie dog, principally by moving them from developed areas, like backyards, playgrounds, and airports, and relocating them to publicly owned conservation areas.

Wilson said everything the county has been working on for the past couple years while working under the ruling has fallen through.

“They are going to try to appeal it and the state is still working on getting everything together,” she said. “This is a major setback. The next couple of days are going to be trying to revert back to where the rules stand now, and as I get more information, I will let you all know.”

Among other business at the Cedar City Council meeting was the addition of Southern Utah Professor and artist Eric Brown’s paintings to the council chambers and City Hall.

Cedar City Council Member Paul Cozzens shared his excitement for the addition.

  “I started my cabinet business 30 years ago, and Eric was already in business for seven years and he’s one of the finest craftsmen I know,” Cozzens said. “Eric was always so good with cabinetry, (particularly) with the finishing part of it, because he had the artist part of it. He was very talented.”

PHOTO by Holly Coombs

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