Boulder advocates want to relocate 120 prairie dogs

spectr17

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Animal lovers offer plan to move 120 prairie dogs

By Owen S. Good , Rocky Mtn News Staff Writer

February 13, 2002

BOULDER -- Wildlife advocates on Tuesday forwarded a proposal to relocate roughly 120 prairie dogs from four campuses of the Boulder Valley School District, whose 30-day moratorium on exterminating the animals expired Monday.
The proposal calls on Boulder County to either set aside 10 acres for the prairie dogs, or use open space taxes and donations to buy land and turn it over to the schools -- which would use it for prairie dog relocation -- by June. The proposal lists three sites that the county owns jointly with other municipalities as potential relocation areas.

"The school district wanted a written proposal that they could look at and then they could discuss it with the county," said Sandy Nervig of Arvada, one of four who drafted the proposal.

County Commissioner Ron Stewart, also the county's open space director, said the 4,600 acres of open space suitable for prairie dogs already is at capacity, after populations relocated there increased almost eightfold in the past three years.

Still, Stewart said the county is open to the idea of using open space funds to buy additional land for prairie dog relocation.

District spokeswoman Janelle Albertson said school officials had received the proposal and would spend "ample time" reviewing it. The district had intended to gas 300 prairie dog burrows. Twice, wildlife advocates sued to block the district from doing so, and lost.

Wildlife advocates made numerous appeals to school officials, saying they had volunteers willing to work or pay for the relocation. The district put a 30-day moratorium on exterminations so they could form a plan.

The moratorium has expired, but Albertson said the prairie dogs are in no immediate danger.

"We know (advocates) have put in a lot of time and research and we certainly want to honor the work that they've done."

In addition to relocating the prairie dogs, the proposal calls for placing barriers to keep more prairie dogs from dispersing onto campuses; adopting a policy of consulting wildlife groups before resolving conflicts with wildlife; relying on "humane, non-lethal approaches"; and implementing a prairie ecology program into Boulder Valley's curriculum.
 

LAgunman2K

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if sewer rats invade the campus's will they set aside 10 acres for them?

if 50 homeless people move in i somehow dont think they would get a few acres for themselves.
 
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