News Feature | December 27, 2018

Prairie Dog Problem Crops Up At Denver Water

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,
@sarmje

prairiedogs reg new

Colorado residents are disappointed with how Denver Water decided to handle a prairie dog situation.

Residents were surprised and disappointed when the utility called an exterminator, according to The Denver Channel. The prairie dogs live in a lot owned by the utility, and locals alerted the utility because they felt the animals were getting too close to their kids, according to the report.

One resident stated locals “were working with non-profit Prairie Protection Colorado to try to move the animals to another property a few blocks away on Jewel Avenue. They say Denver Water even applied for the permits but without warning changed plans and hired an exterminator,” according tothe report.

The prairie dog issue has some history behind it in this area.

“In July, officials were forced to halt the removal of a colony — located south of Baseline Road and west of Rowena Place, near a water utility property — and release the trapped rodents after residents complained the caged animals were left sitting out in the scorching sun,” The Denver Post reported.

At the time, Deanna Meyer, co-founder and chief executive of Prairie Protection Colorado, described the policies she would like to see adopted.

“Ideally we would like to see protections and measures that are taken similarly to Boulder and Longmont, where there’s a requirement for developers and people with prairie dogs on their property to make a good faith effort prior to relocation,” she stated, per the report.

In October, “officials caution that any policy changes pertaining to privately-owned land must walk a fine line with state interest that all but gives free rein to citizens who want to eradicate the nuisance animal from their land,” The Denver Post reported.

Image credit: "Twycross Zoo," Nigel Swales © 2012, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/