CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — State wildlife officials have denied a request by the U.S. Forest Service to move as many as 2,000 prairie dogs in northeast Wyoming.

The plan was unpopular among ranchers on the Thunder Basin National Grassland in Converse, Weston and Campbell counties. The ranchers say prairie dogs are destructive to rangeland.

According to the Associated Press, the plan called for moving prairie dogs near homes to an area in northern Converse County where the animals couldn't be poisoned or shot.

Aaron Clark, chairman of the Game and Fish Commission, says commissioners consider the views of landowners before granting such permits. He says nearly every landowner where the prairie dogs were to be reintroduced was against the idea.

Forest Service officials say they will likely resubmit their relocation plans next year.