City Management Plan Calls for Another Round of Prairie Dog Extermination - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/2/06

City Management Plan Calls for Another Round of Prairie Dog Extermination

The city of Lubbock is preparing to exterminate prairie dogs as part of the city's on-going attempt to manage the over-population. However, some say it's an inhumane solution. Newschannel 11's Jennifer Vogel confirmed the details with deputy city manager Tom Adams.

It was a national issue two years ago when the city of Lubbock implemented a plan to kill prairie dogs with chemicals in the Lubbock Land Application Site. Today, e mails came in to Newschannel 11 saying the extermination is a problem once again.

John Hindman, the city of Lubbock Farm Manager two years ago said in a 2004 interview, "we have to have control, if they come out and say their endangered. You can't control on this site, then we have to shut down the farm. We have 6,000 acres the taxpayers have bought and paid for an that's how we dispose of our effluent water."

It's the same issue today. Too many prairie dogs in one area could lead to possible ground water contamination. But some feel poisoning prairie dogs is not the answer. One viewer wrote in to 11 Listens saying, "I was extremely shocked and surprised to discover this news with the outcry that had occurred two years ago when your city proposed to take such measures when more humane and environmentally friendly options could be utilized." Another e mail said, "I would just ask that you reconsider the poisoning of these little animals and find a qualified prairie dog relocator."

Newschannel 11 posed these concerns to deputy city manager Tom Adams over the phone. He said the city has never stopped their program to manage prairie dog population because it is necessary to keep city land safe. He adds the city does not exterminate all animals, some are kept alive on the land, while others are relocated.

We're told the extermination process will be happening in a matter of days on the city's farm. But Adams adds that they are extremely careful when exterminating prairie dogs because there are burrow owls that live on the site, and those owls are a protected species.

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