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Message to Christian Ranchers

 

I would like to start out by saying that I am also a born again Christian. I realize you may have a problem with prairie dogs, but perhaps you can deal with them in a more positive way. Many times people turn me down thinking that I am a liberal tree-hugger, but I take sides with the environment only in a God-centered way. I respect all that God created on this earth. He created everything good (Gen. 1:10) for our enjoyment, and to only to take what we need for sustenance. Our dominion over the earth connotes a special kind of stewardship, not ruthless destruction. We are the leaders of the earth, not the owners. God owns the earth (Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49) .

In two of several places Iíve lived in, I had a problem with some kind of fruit flies (these were after grease mostly, not fruit). I must have swatted thousands of them. This was an ongoing problem in the second place where this happened, so I prayed that the flies would leave. They did, because God answers these kinds of prayers. Likewise, if you do not wish for prairie dogs to be around just pray that they go elsewhere and they will. This will especially work if you truly are a Christian and you have enough faith.

I have been studying Sciuridae (the squirrel family) for several years, and have found them to be a fascinating group of rodents. I have always been intrigued by squirrels, and they are my favorite animals. I think it is best to consider humane, non-lethal control methods if people are having problems with prairie dogs or similar creatures. They are a part of creation after all, and God created them for many reasons. Understanding is a key factor. It would be better to see the good side of ground squirrels, such as the fact that they consume harmful insects and help aerate the soil, than to exterminate and ask questions later. Tree squirrels, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, marmots all have complex lives and play important rolls in complex ecosystems. Like people, they have families, and females nurse their young on selective seasons. I believe God created mankind to be kind to His creation, and creation stewardship and care can be a form of tithing.

In conclusion, the prairie dogs are a special creation of God, and are here to stay. He put them in the American plains for many reasons. If you would like to learn to live with them in harmony, I would encourage it and please pray that you can.