No council meeting tonight; instead I'll be live-tweeting (a bit) from the Open Space Board of Trustees meeting on .... PRAIRIE DOGS!
Past 2 a.m. Denver had an entire election in the time it took us to vote on prairie dogs.
The * on that is this: That's per the meeting minutes, so there were just short summaries of their comment.
Another clarification: The area we're talking about lethal control is specifically 5,000 acres north of Jay Road
Pdogs occupy 967 acres of those irrigable fields, so 40%
At the May council meeting, that was close to 500 acres. But maybe the smaller number is just within the project area
Story about that from April of last year: boulderbeat.news/2019/05/07/sta…
I *do* know that Boulder County has been doing lethal control for nearly two decades. They treat 530 acres per year for a cost of $150,000-$200,000 (again, numbers from May meeting)
One of the things I'm struggling with is figuring out how many acres, exactly, Boulder might be treating yearly so I can do a cost comparison.
Boulder will still maintain its relocation policies, but just add lethal control to it.
"Cost estimates assume one week of trapping and use of CO2 chambers resulting in 25% of animals captured using this method, leaving 75% of control using PERC; estimated costs are $4,000 per acre for trap and donate and $221 per acre for PERC."
"Restoration costs will range from $124 to $360 per acre depending on the condition of the site, based on staff experience"
So UP TO 140 acres per year.
WHICH IS IT? I NEED ANSWERS?
That's 3,500 reolcated and 5,500 killed. for a cost of $2.1M (including staff time)
That $$ would be used to advance the recommendations of the Prairie Dog Working Group, which were only non-lethal, Potter says.
Dept funds will have to be shifted around (about $600,000 over three years, staff says) to pay for this prairie dog work.
And again, not apples to apples. But yowza, the gap is astonishing.
"Don't kill the prairie dogs! They were here first! Humans the real invasive species!"
"Prairie dogs are ruining farms! Boulder needs to kill some so that our neighbors aren't killing them all!"
He (and everyone else who uses this) might want to watch this TED talk from years ago:
How does one farm wildflowers? Isn't that an oxymoron? Aren't wildflowers by definition, wild?
Also referring to Plan C as B-2, as the last speaker did.
250 acres per year is how many we need to treat to keep up, he says.
Not the singer.
Reminder: 22 neighbors have complained, staff said in May.
How is that possible? They get 10% of city's flexible budget dollars and just got a tax re-up.
I feel like my story is going to add no value. These ppl know so much more than I do.
People have issues with that.
We can have sustainable ag and co-exist with nature, he says.
You're only supposed to be allowed to pool with 2 other ppl, last time I checked.
Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.
"It's easy to forget that when you get your food in packages at Whole Foods."
Our success is "critically dependent" on the pace of population growth.
Relocations are important if it's for conservation. But otherwise I think we have to put all the resources we can into getting ahead of population.
Valerie Matheson, Urban Wildlife Conservation Coordinator, Planning Department: City manager can give special use permits
But I finally found the $1,000 per acre contribution to the Grassland Conservation Fund! It's in the staff powerpoint.
No, Matheson says. That would require a code change.
Brown: So I think you proceed on all fronts.
Potter: There's a lot of work to be done in this project area. We can come back in a year and re-assess where work is being done.
But some priority is being given to two leased ag properties with 50%+ occupation (87 acres)
Hollweg: At least a couple lessees have asked me, 'Why can't we do that?'
Hollweg: I wasn't going that far. That's another discussion.
Kuntz: We oughta look at that. Many of them are trained by the county to do that.
No, board says.
Brown: You can include a positive statement about ways to involve tenants.
I think I've hit my lifetime limit for prairie dog meetings.
Those raptor and ferret programs will take any p dogs we can give them, staff says. There's always a need.
vs. $221 per acre for PERC (gassing them in the burrows)
Staff: If they're going to raptors. If they go to ferrets, they do use delta dust. As with relocation.
The best guidance you can give us, is this the amount of lethal control we should be doing?
"But, boy, it comes at a pretty high price."
Isaacson: Yes, maybe. And then were does that money go?
Board has consensus on that.
Brown: Yes, I think it's a priority to meet our OSMP goals.
Staff: We do inventory every year.
Staff: I feel absolutely confident that last year it was 3%. After plague, it tends to be a very rapid increase and then levels off. We've seen the last 3 yrs it leveling off.
Not sure what that means; I know what kabuki is, of course, but how it relates... idk.
Hallstein: I just want to be careful of micromanaging.
But, Burke says, we don't make recommendations that we don't think we can do. The proposed plan is what we think we can do.
Burke: Or reduce how much we'll have to shift from other dept priorities and keep the targets the same?
I have some followup questions (@ me if you have some, too) that I'll get answered and write a story by the weekend.