I would much have preferred to see artists instead of prairie dogs living on the North Boulder Armory site, but it now appears inevitable we will have neither. More’s the pity. It is surprising how often unintended consequences cause Boulder’s well-intentioned policies to run aground. Land owners have been willing to launder and relocate prairie dogs in the past, but we seem to have run out of “receiving sites.” State law prohibits us from transporting such critters, washed or unwashed, across county lines, absent permission from both counties.
Whatever. Let’s not make a mountain out of these mole hills (pardon the pun; blame our editor). The North Boulder Armory site is not critical wildlife habitat. When it was active, there were few interlopers, rodents or otherwise, but the site has been inactive for so long that the small mammals moved in, uninvited. A “plan” for their removal or relocation is required. The options are few. Waiting for nature to take its course, via plague or predator, is not one of them. Humane capture and donation to a raptor rescue or other wildlife recovery program seems the most likely scenario.
But what is to become of North Boulder’s artists? They’re hard to capture, let alone relocate. The original Armory plan was well-received by Planning Board and many neighbors, rare enough these days, but it foundered when city planners determined the project would have provided too few community benefits. Utter nonsense.