I have lived in the Boulder / Longmont area for the past 45 years. I
am a member of the Concerned Citizens Group of Gunbarrel. No one in
our group has suggested or even hinted to eradicating the existing
black tailed prairie dog colony that fringes our neighborhood. That is
not our wish nor our position. There used to be over 3,000 of them in
our immediate area before the plaque in 2007 reduced the colony. We
are not even asking that they be relocated. We are simply and
rightfully as property owners asking the Open Space authorities to not
relocate more prairie dogs from the City of Boulder into this specific
area and to adequately maintain the current colony of about 200 that
There is a problem in the City of Boulder with to many
prairie dogs in one area. They want to eliminate that problem by
relocating 500 of them to our neighborhood. If they do this it would
transfer the problem to our unincorporated neighborhood.
Our group of area citizens consists of enlightened and educated
people. I do not believe any of us are arrogant. We understand and
appreciate the ecological benefits the prairie dogs provide. We all
truly enjoy the beauty of all of the wildlife in our area and it is
abundant. Eagles, hawks, many species of birds, rabbits, coyotes, red
fox, raccoons, squirrels, owls and black tail prairie dogs. There is a
pair of ducks that nest every year by the irrigation ditch that runs
by our property. We enjoy seeing the young ducklings grow and waddle
around our yards. We get an occasional deer roaming through. A cougar
was trapped in the walking path tunnel under highway 52 at the
Gunbarrel Tech Center several years ago.
Plague is not our main concern or issue. We all know that prairie
dogs do not carry the plaque, fleas do. When the prairie dogs become
stressed because of lack of adequate vegetation to eat due to over
population they become undernourished and sick. They also expand their
territory because they fight for space for their individual coteries
which occupy specific burrow systems.
Once that happens the fleas
thrive. The prairie dogs get infected by the plaque carrying fleas and
the colony is reduced. The age old natural cycle of nature.
What we do not like is that when the prairie dogs become
overpopulated they get into our beautiful well maintained yards. It is
not acceptable. A well maintained colony will not deplete the
vegetation in their contained territory. They do cause open ground
which results in erosion and dust storms. We have asked the Open Space
officials to put a permanent fenced barrier around the area of the
colony and maintain their population. It is their property not ours.
They have refused to accept our request.
We have done our homework. A documented very detailed study by the
University of Nebraska in 1986 on Population Dynamics and Expansion of
Black Tailed Prairie Dogs written by Lyle A. Crosby and Randy Graham
states that they will almost double their population every year.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/vpc12/18 I suggest anyone that is a
truly concerned citizen that wants to be informed read this document.
I hope this letter more fully and accurately states our groups
feelings, position and situation.