Activists continue fight for prairie dogs

Group explores options to protect wildlife from future development

Posted 3/1/15

As protesters stood at Founders Parkway and Factory Shops Boulevard — waving signs and shouting at drivers to help save the prairie dogs — a few hundred yards behind them exterminators were already laying traps.

The grass-roots campaign, …

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Activists continue fight for prairie dogs

Group explores options to protect wildlife from future development

Posted

As protesters stood at Founders Parkway and Factory Shops Boulevard — waving signs and shouting at drivers to help save the prairie dogs — a few hundred yards behind them exterminators were already laying traps.

The grass-roots campaign, called Save the Castle Rock Prairie Dogs, wants to push back the construction of the Promenade at Castle Rock, at the north end of town between I-25 and U.S. Highway 85, near the Outlets at Castle Rock, until June.

That's when the animals, many of them pregnant, could be moved. The prairie dogs are being trapped with baited cages. It is unknown how or if they are being killed at this time.

“Of course I was at the protest,” said Castle Rock resident Keith Lattimore-Walsh, one of about 40 protesters at the Feb. 24 rally. “My heart won't allow me to do anything less than to fight for those who cannot speak.”

The controversy is part of the town's continued conversation about growth and began when more than 20 residents spoke out against the Promenade at the Feb. 17 council meeting.

Activists said they hope snowy conditions and the slow pace of capture will give them time to find available land for relocation of the colony — about 1,000 prairie dogs.

“It's slow, they aren't capturing many at a time,” said Brian Ertz, board president of the activist organization the Wildlands Defense.

Alberta Development Partners, the developer behind the Promenade, could not be reached for comment about the removal of the prairie dogs, despite repeated attempts by the News-Press.

Town officials reiterated their stance that the situation is a matter of a private developer building on private land, therefore they have no jurisdiction to stop or delay construction.

This would be different if the prairie dogs were protected by state law, which they aren't, because they are not an endangered species.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the state population of prairie dogs is very healthy overall.

“I do think the animals in that area, the raptors and other species that eat prairie dogs, have plenty of other food sources available and the removal of the prairie dogs will have very little if any impact on the ecosystem,” said Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman for CPW.

Churchill said while many in certain areas become attached to the prairie dog colonies they live near, CPW takes a macro-view of animal populations and said there are still untold numbers of them in Colorado — especially in the less populated portions of the state.

CPW also confirmed that prairie dogs are in fact carriers of some diseases that can be spread to humans, like the bubonic plague.

Deanna Meyer, one of the leaders of Save the Castle Rock Prairie Dogs, said the group will look into ways to legally protect other wildlife and open space from development in the future.

One avenue, she said, may be the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm that provides free and low-cost legal services to communities facing threats to the local environment.

Nearly 200 municipalities in 10 states have adopted the organization's Community Bills of Rights laws. It would help residents draft a bill addressing wildlife and open space issues and get it on a ballot.

“In the future, we will also work on getting a prairie dog management plan in place, work on getting them placed on threatened or endangered species list and work on slowing development in Castle Rock,” resident Amber Pate said, “so we do not lose all of our wild lands and wildlife.”

Comments

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scottokla1972

It's a sad day in this country when a company can come in and bulldoze nature for yet another mall. When there is only 2% of a population of these prairie dogs left!!!??? There is no need for malls anymore when everyone can shop online and most people do! This is disgusting. I feel for these animals and for the people that want to save them. The animals were here before us. And yet we keep encroaching upon THEIR habitat and then cry that they are disturbing us. God has them here on this planet for a reason - whether we understand the reason or not. Humans are the true plague/parasite...not the wildlife.

Rev. 11:18: He (God) will bring to ruin those who are ruining the Earth.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
MikeHP

How can the CPW actually say that there will be little, if any, impact on the ecosystem? There are also burrowing owls living there, insects, rabbits and butterflies just to name a few! And Bubonic plague, are you kidding me? I thought this was supposed to be a "WILDLIFE" protector, not there to support wiping out animal colonies! For shame!

Saturday, March 7, 2015
scottfitgerald

Very poorly handled situation, The community didn't want the mall, and no one did anything to stop the slaughter. These animals could have been moved. The town and the mall will now be known as a mass grave site. The city council was paid off and could care less. the hearing was for show. Residents should be ashamed and embarrassed to live there after how this was handled.

| Saturday, March 14, 2015
SLAYER

1000+ Prairie Dogs Exterminated by poison Gas pellets.

Rabbits dying in the poisoned field.

They were not "laying Traps"

They were putting Poison Pellets that produce a toxic gas in the holes and then covering them up. There is a you tube video of Ronny the exterminator laughing as he does his genocide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8247DmDFwzY&feature=youtu.be

Here are the phone numbers which you failed to provide;

Alberta Development partners, 303-771-4004

Peter Cudlip, 303-475-3785 pmc@albdev.com

Ronny Purcella, Animal and Pest Control Services 720-971-0995

Castle Rock Mayor, Paul Donahue 720-733-3585;

Town Hall 303-606-1015

Tried Calling all these places. No Help

The exterminator, kept saying please call back so I did then I get no answer. This happened continually. Got 2 replies besides call Back. 1. I am eating Dinner with My wife, I am not discussing it now. Thank you for your business. 2). I am not discussing this now, it's all about the money. Call Back. Thank you for your business.

Alberta Development hangs up as soon as you say the word Prairie Dog.

Peter Cudlip doesn't returns Texts, emails or messages. got a hold of him once, his reply was I will check into that.. oh and i did get a text stating that we was threatening to arrest me.

Castle Rock Mayor, Voice mail at least 20 times no return calls

Call Town Hall and regardless of who you ask for they transfer you to a voice mail or the Police Department. when I spoke to the Police Department they were confused of why Town Hall was transferring me to them. Ask for George Teal they Transfer you to the Police Dept.

Relocation was offered. i have a bunch of land in Colorado. Some in San Luis Valley which is suitable for Prairie Dogs... Seen numerous ones out there...

May all those involved int his genocide, and their families suffer the same fate they bestowed on the prairie Dogs

| Saturday, March 14, 2015