BLACKFOOT, Idaho (AP) -- The Bingham County Commission wants to stimulate the local economy and kill gophers.

With a new pilot program in this southeastern Idaho region, officials hope to do both.

They will pay $1 for every rodent killed -- after complaints that the small, burrowing animals are damaging farming equipment, devouring alfalfa crops, chewing through underground utility lines and digging holes that wash out canals.

Commissioners say they're banking on seeing unemployed residents "gather up some gopher traps."

Commissioner Ladd Carter says, "They have the ability to make grocery money. If they can catch maybe 30 or 40 a day, they can make a pretty good hourly wage."

The program, which starts Saturday, is getting $5,000 from the county's Mosquito Abatement District and another $5,000 from the county's Range Improvement Fund.

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Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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