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Hey, ya'll. It's #Boulder city council night, and it's gearing up to be a wild (and long) one. We've got prairie dogs. We've got development. We've got police oversight. We've got library funding.
Working on a prairie dog story now. It's wild. Council has allotted TWO hours for this topic. It took up 66 pages in the memo, with 8 attachments. The chambers are full of prairie dog and ag ppl.

You want to know what your community cares about? It's this.
Guys. It is PACKED. Staff is moving ppl out of the aisles and downstairs into the overflow area. Many green shirts "Keep Boulder Wild" in support of the prairie dogs.
OK we're getting started with open comment. A group of school children is up first talking about not killing prairie dogs.
Linda Parks calls for lethal control: "Our lands are dying, our soils are becoming sterilized and topsoil is blowing away."
Cody Oreck echoes that.

And I dashed off a quick prairie dog story to show you just how insane this is: boulderbeat.news/2019/05/07/sta…
Just in case you didn't catch that: It will take between $5-7M to relocate the prairie dogs on 1,000 acres of ag lands. Staff is requesting $227K per year for 3-4 yrs just for relocation on 16.8 of those acres, or 1.8%.

Oh, and it will take 20-30 years to relocate them all.
This is for 14,000-20,000 prairie dogs.
Eric Skokan of Black Cat Farm “We’re severely, chronically impacted by prairie dogs and we’re losing hope.”
Back to how much it will cost to relocate the pdogs: At the low end ($4.8M) you could subsidize/build housing for 48-96 low-income ppl. At the high end ($7.3M) you could house 73-146. (Based on $50K-$100K subsidies, which is the per-unit figure the city has shared.)
Or put another way, you could house 240-365 formerly unhoused ppl.
($20K per year is what it costs, with supportive services.)
OK, back to it: Anna Rivas argued that we shouldn't kill pdogs to make lands available for ranchers, bc meat is so energy-intensive. "Killing native species for producing beef is not the way of the future; it’s the way of the past."
Kristen Nelson (I think) is quoting a 2016 poll that shows opposition to lethal management of pdogs.
Susan Sommers: Killing is not an innovation; it’s a tried and true way to drive a species to extinction.
Man ppl love these fucking prairie dogs.
Many ppl asking council to follow the recommendations of the pdog working group. Mayor Jones, at the last meeting, admitted it was a mistake that they didn't include ANY agricultural lease holders on that group.
Mark Fitch, an equine veterinarian, is talking about the risk to horses (and riders) due to prairie dog holes.
Mirabai Nagle asks for stats on how many horses are injured each year.
Carse Pustmeuller, member of working group, is questioning staff's findings about the problem. At most, two of the quoted 36 properties have conflicts, she says. This is NOT a crisis situation, and has been used to justify lethal control.
Deb Jones: OSBT's recommendation to explore lethal control "completely disregards our two years of detailed study and hard work in exploring all management tools and creating a complete toolbox of non-lethal tools."
Ag and development are the primary reasons for degradation, she says.
I like the way she says, "soil." Real southern-like. "Soul"
Chris Brown (not that one) is here speaking about the degraded top soil from pdog colonies.
Suzanne Webel, a neighbor of OSMP: "The problem isn’t prairie dogs; it’s too many prairie dogs. It is a crisis."
"I'm deeply and passionately connected to the land. I treat my farm the way OSMP should be treating all its land."

There are 8 priorities for open space in the city charter; they are all (or should be) equal.
Marianne Martin: Nobody wants to kill pdogs. We don't want to get rid of them; it's about restoring balance.
Forgot to put this in the story, but according to staff counts, the pdog population is the highest it's ever been.
Lynn Segal: "I try to be empathetic to ppl who ride horses. But I turned off my TV, and I don't miss it. You can get off your horse and you won't miss it. The prairie dogs will miss it. They'll be dead."
Ok, that wraps open comment. The prairie dog discussion is the last (or one of the last) of the night.

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