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Prairie Dog Working Group

A city Prairie Dog Working Group (PDWG) – made up of 12 community members representing a variety of viewpoints – reviewed the city's prairie dog management policies and practices and made recommendations for changes to existing policies and new initiatives to help manage prairie dog colonies and habitats. In April and May, 2019, both the City Council and the city’s Open Space Board of Trustees approved city staff’s plan to implement many of the working group’s recommendations. 

The continuing high abundance of prairie dogs on the city’s northern agricultural properties was part of both the council’s and the OSBT’s discussion of the PDWG recommendations earlier this year. During those discussions, both the council and the OSBT gave OSMP direction to explore whether, when, and how additional prairie dog management tools might be effective to reduce impacts to city irrigable agricultural lands.  

Recent consideration of Prairie Dog Working Group recommendations

The City of Boulder formed the Prairie Dog Working Group (PDWG) in 2016 including 12 community members representing a variety of viewpoints and five staff members from OSMP, Parks and Recreation (P&R) and Planning. The working group completed their work and presented the resulting recommendations to the City Manager in two phases – the first was completed in 2017 and the second in 2018.

Outcomes from the PDWG were presented to Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT), the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) and the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) in August 2018. Following these meetings with the three relevant boards, staff performed further initial analysis of the recommendations and presented their findings to the City Council at a study session on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.

City staff presented a new set of staff analysis of a subset of Prairie Dog Working Group recommendations to the OSBT on Wednesday, April 10.

April 10 Meeting Memo and Video

City staff also presented these recommendations to PRAB on Monday, April 22, and EAB on Wednesday, May 1. All boards supported a staff recommendation to implement the advisory working group's prairie dog management proposals. The OSBT also offered three of their own prairie dog management recommendations pdf.

City of Boulder staff then presented suggestions for how the city can implement Prairie Dog Working Group recommendations to the Boulder City Council on Tuesday, May 7. City Council also approved city staff’s plan to implement many of the working group’s recommendations. 


Background Information on the Prairie Dog Working Group

Prairie Dog Working Group Meetings

Meetings were open to the public with a portion of the meeting reserved for public comment. 

Phase II

Phase I


Prairie Dog Working Group Members

The working group includes 12 City of Boulder resident and non-resident members, representing broad interests and community perspectives. The City Manager has appointed the following participants - Aaron Cook, Amber Largent, Amy Masching, Carse Pustmueller, Dan Brandemuehl, Deborah Jones, Elle Cushman, Eric Sims, Jr., Jeff Edson, John Vickery, Lindsay Sterling-Krank, and Patrick Comer.