Gophers "Go For" It: Threatening Yakima Airport - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gophers "Go For" It: Threatening Yakima Airport

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Yakima City Council says uncontrolled gophers are threatening the Yakima airport. 

Council members approved a $30,000 contract Tuesday night with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to poison the burrowing rodents.

Airport managers say gophers have been tunneling near the runway at Yakima Air Terminal. They say the gophers could weaken the runway and ultimately create a problem if a plane rolls off the pavement. 

The airport says gophers also could attract hawks, which could collide with planes.

Airport managers say once the year long contract is up, it could be renewed, but hopefully the airport staff will be able to manage the gopher population by then.

Gophers create a large system of tunnels to living in, with large mounds of dirt at the entrances.

A gopher "town" can quickly expand in population, spreading and taking over large sections of land.