COSA Expert panel and Informed community conversation at Prairie Dog Forum , Wed, Dec 4

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To all those of you who are experiencing the challenges of managing and educating about prairie dog populations, the CU – Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities invites you to this special event. Please spread the word and use the following information to encourage the participation of your colleagues, neighbors, and any interested community members:

Please join us on Wednesday, Dec 4, at 5:30pm for a Prairie Dog Forum, sponsored by the CU Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities

At SEEC Auditorium, CU Boulder – East Campus, 4001 Discovery Dr., Boulder

The event is free, but registration is required at https://prairiedogforum.eventbrite.com REGISTER NOW! – SPACE IS FILLING UP.

Join community members with diverse perspectives as we learn from professionals and interact with others to inform decision-making on issues regarding our burgeoning prairie dog populations.

This event gives you an opportunity to get above the adamant statements of advocates and learn directly from a panel of four professionals:
* Sylvia Hickenlooper, Soil Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – will describe what it takes (both ecologically and financially) to restore soil degraded by livestock or prairie dog overgrazing to a more desired state.

* Rob Alexander, Agricultural Resources Specialist, Boulder County Parks and Open Space Departmentwill explain the physical and economic impacts of prairie dog populations on rangeland vegetation and their economic impact on agricultural productivity.

* Laurel Hartley, Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, CU-Denver – will describe the niche of prairie dogs in a functioning ecosystem and what naturally happens when the population grows based on her research in large native grasslands that has never been ploughed and in smaller, hemmed in areas that have been ploughed and area adjacent to residences.

* Tara Teel, Professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSUwill talk about her research on human dimensions of living with prairie dogs vs. lethal control – and how these multiple perspectives can be considered and inform conservation/management decisions regarding prairie dogs on public lands.

Following the panel’s presentations, all participants will have opportunities to engage in structured discussions to grapple with these complexities and compare their views with farmers/ranchers, neighbors of public lands, leaders of conservation organizations, and prairie dog advocates in mixed small groups.

The CU Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities (CSLC) is hosting this event for all residents as we experience exceptionally robust prairie dog population levels. The evening will focus on two main questions:
* What should we do to conserve prairie dog populations and at the same time sustain agricultural productivity and our open space lands, while addressing conflicts regarding prairie dogs and their impacts on neighboring residents?
* What questions need to be researched – and what role should the Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities take as we pursue this issue?

The program begins at 5:30pm with a reception, and includes a panel and discussions to promote informed community deliberation regarding these complex challenges.

Parking information: If you are planning to drive to the event, please purchase a parking pass for $4.00 for the evening using the following link: https://cuboulder.pmreserve.com/. Go to this site, scroll down to Wed, Dec. 4, “Prairie Dog Forum” and click on “Find Parking”, then follow the instructions. When you are done, print your receipt. You will need to display your printed receipt on the dashboard of your vehicle so that enforcement staff can see it.

Amanda Looze

Sustainability Program Assistant

Center for Sustainable Landscapes & Communities

University of Colorado Boulder