Associated Press
Officials in southern Utah are unveiling a market-based program they say will protect the state's prairie dogs.

CEDAR CITY — Officials in southern Utah are unveiling a market-based program they say will protect the state's prairie dogs and make life easier for developers trying to work with the Endangered Species Act.

The Panoramaland conservation council on last week introduced the Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credit Exchange and Safe Harbor program, which allows property owners to purchase "credits" that permit them to develop land where prairie dogs live.

The money will be used to buy and protect other plots of prairie dog habitat.