NewsContact7

Actions

Neighbors at odds over prairie dog colony and new development in Weld County near Broomfield

Owner: I spent 3 years mitigating prairie dogs
Posted: 5:23 PM, Jun 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-03 21:11:00-04
Longmont pushing tougher prairie dog exterminations rules

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- A new development going in on top of a prairie dog colony is pitting neighbor against neighbor.

The development will be an RV and boat storage park called Centennial Storage on the Weld County side of the Broomfield County/Weld County fence line.

"They can be safely removed, without any harm done," said Alex Keeler, who lives on the Broomfield County side.

"I don't want to belittle it,” said Earl LaGorin who lives in Erie on the Weld County side. “I love animals like everybody else, but there comes a point where you have to make a decision. Prairie dogs carry diseases and all kinds of things."

Keeler says the excavation company said it wouldn't kill any of the animals.

"How's that make any kind of sense?” Keeler said. “Ok, so you're saying you won't kill them with your scrapers because you won't dig down that deep, but you'll just bury them?"

The owner of Centennial Storage, Greg Fantle, says he spent three years mitigating the prairie dogs.

In accordance with state law, he hired a state licensed company called Rocky Mountain Wildlife Services to humanely exterminate the rodents.

Despite mitigation efforts, the territorial critters kept coming back. Finally, Fantle was able to provide a certification letter from Rocky Mountain Wildlife Services to Arvada Excavating before work on the property started last week.

Keeler believes it would have been more humane to relocate the prairie dogs.

"I would have liked to have seen some sort of effort made to remove the animals, and then relocate them," he said.

Colorado state law requires developers to file a permit with Colorado Parks and Wildlife if the developer plans to remove prairie dogs. If developers want to use other methods to get rid of prairie dogs, it's up to local jurisdictions.

LaGorin says the idea of moving them is ridiculous.

"Seems to me like (those people) should get a life," LaGorin said. “I'm not against prairie dogs and everything else, but - so they're going to relocate them? Where? On somebody else's property? So they're somebody else's problem?”