Save the Prairie Dogs of Stroh Ranch

Save the Prairie Dogs of Stroh Ranch

From Mark Snyder Jr

My name is Mark Snyder Jr and I am a resident of Parker, CO and I am currently trying to save a large prairie dog community (approx 300) from extermination in a plot of land in my "front yard".

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Update #17

12 days ago

Friends, YOU made this scene possible and I wanted you to see a little something from our day today. More to come!

More Info

My name is Mark Snyder Jr and I am a resident of Parker, CO and I am currently trying to save a large prairie dog community from extermination in a plot of land in my "front yard". My condo complex shares a road with an 11 acre lot just approved for a 5 building affordable housing complex. Sadly, there are about 200-300 prairie dogs also living on this lot, and the city of Parker does not require humane relocation of these animals. The project is in the Stroh Ranch neighborhood of Parker and is at the intersection of Nate Drive and Ironstone Way.  

Without proper humane relocation, this large colony of prairie dogs will be poisoned and their homes will be bulldozed.  Colorado does not protect this keystone native species.  Relocation costs of a community this large, could exceed $25,000.I had a call with the developer on Friday, 03/15, @ 11am, and I have been in contact with the city council, the community developer liaison and the mayor of Parker. The mayor pretty much told me that there are no protections for prairie dogs and all we can do is ask the developer to self-regulate.  Needless to say, I had a few choice words for him, but I am hoping that with the pressure of possible media attention as well as some other realizations that this plot of land is literally feet from hundreds of residents that would witness a mass murder of prairie dogs, that they may act (if not now, then later with city ordinances, etc).

The developer mentioned that costs that exceed what they were going to pay for extermination would fall on my shoulders to secure, if relocation was possible. So, I would need to crowdfund or fundraise several tens of thousands of dollars, potentially, depending on what the developer estimates. I also need to find new land to accept all of these prairie dogs and I really need support from the community.I have reached out to the first gentleman of Colorado, Marlon Reis, on facebook with one of my posts about the colony and he responded yesterday, mentioning that he was going to reach out to Parker city council as well as the mayor and the developer to try to help as well.  I contacted Prairie Protection Colorado, created about 100 fliers and posted them here at my condo complex, as well as documented video footage of the plot and the large community of prairie dogs.

The developer is Dominium:

https://www.dominiumapartments.com [dominiumapartments.com]

I have also heard from John Fussa of Parker's Community Development Department:

http://www.parkeronline.org/112/Community-Development [parkeronline.org]

Here are all associated documents regarding the development project:

https://lms.parkeronline.org/etrakit3/Search/project.aspx?activityNo=SUB17-001 [lms.parkeronline.org]

John Fussa and the Mayor have both told me that Parker uses the state's advice of dealing with Prairie Dogs.I want to partner with the local media to force change. 

I just can't believe that the state of Colorado and the city of Parker, just allows for the mass extermination of a native, keystone species doing nothing wrong. 99% of the state's prairie dogs have been killed to make room for more development. Shouldn't this state stand for conservation?  

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
12 days ago

Update #21

Friends, YOU made this scene possible and I wanted you to see a little something from our day today. More to come!

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
15 days ago

Update #20

Another picture to show you the prairie dogs acclimating to the cages...bribing them with some delicious oats.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
15 days ago

Update #19

Friends! Thanks to your very generous donations and support, we are well underway with our relocation efforts. 320 traps have been placed on our site, where we have been loading them with oats to acclimate the prairie dogs to the traps for relocation day. This has been going on since last week and we expect to begin the relocation process in the next few days.

Today, we began the process of digging new burrows and preparing the new site for their arrival!

None of this would be possible without the support from you and your generosity, the team of dedicated volunteers that worked so hard to get the traps out there and ready, as well as the Prairie Dog Coalition/Humane Society of the US and, of course, our First Gentleman, Marlon Reis.

It truly takes a village, and this village did it! We still have a lot of work to do, and I will update you on the progress once we have started the relocation.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

-Mark

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #16

Hello Friends! The Parker Chronicle covered our story, read it here:

https://parkerchronicle.net/stories/prairie-dog-activists-get-support-from-two-councilmembers,279631

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #15

Hello friends of the Prairie Dogs! We have some very exciting news! A group of us had attended the Parker town council meeting on Monday, April 15th to speak about our concern for the prairie dogs and to request that council members sponsor an ordinance to protect them from development. We have been emailing and calling for over a month, and just wanted to make our faces seen and our voices heard, and IT WORKED! The council wants to meet and develop an ordinance! It would not protect our current colony needing help, but it will protect future development in the town of Parker. Thank you for supporting these efforts, and for your generosity! We are still looking for land and collecting funds for this colony's relocation, but things are certainly moving in the right direction.

REBECCA ROTH commented on a blog post:
3 months ago
Great news! There is a large plot of land at Pine Ln and Parker Rd that recently sold for development. Hundreds of prairie dogs live there.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #14

Friends, I voted for Cheryl Poage (Parker Town Council) because of her stance on preserving natural habitat and slowing development for preservation. None of my requests for her comment have ever been answered, and she continues to ignore me. Please contact her and hold her accountable for the things that she said to get elected. So far, she has done nothing to advance any of the "important" ideas that got her into office. Here is her webpage with contact information: http://poage.com/home.html

Mark Snyder Jr commented on a blog post:
3 months ago
Thank you Michele!!
Michele Alberts commented on a blog post:
3 months ago
I wrote both people

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #13

Hello friends! I emailed Cheryl Matthews, the lead for Douglas County Open Spaces, in regard to opening up space for the colony. I know that Douglas County is a little hostile to prairie dogs, but since we help to maintain these lands with our own tax money, I believe these prairie dogs should have access to this open space. I emailed her on 04/09/19 @ 2pm. It has only been a day and a half, but, I haven't received a response as of yet. I've sent many emails to many Colorado/Parker/Douglas County officials and usually receive little to no response. If you have the time to make an appeal to Cheryl Matthews, please do send her a note requesting that she opens up space in this county for this colony of prairie dogs, and potentially other colonies. We have more than enough space for them here, and in some cases, unoccupied burrows. Her email address is: cmatthew@douglas.co.us

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #12

Hello friends of the Prairie Dogs of Stroh Ranch! Irini Dieringer was kind enough to add her time and talents to creating a wonderful logo for our fundraiser. You’ll notice it, now, on the website at the very top of the page. Thank you Irini!

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #11

Hello friends! As of today, we have 99 donors and supporters! We have raised (before fees are deducted) $3540, which calls for a gigantic THANK YOU! Just to keep you all informed, we are awaiting a decision to relocate the prairie dogs to an open space in Jefferson County. In the meantime, I am researching other open spaces and one possible privately owned space in Douglas County. Douglas County is especially hostile to prairie dogs, but I believe that we should cover all bases. Please, if you know anyone that would welcome prairie dogs to their 30+ acres of land, let me know. Email me @ mrsnyde1@yahoo.com or text/call 717-330-6264. Having my coffee this morning, on my balcony, and watching these little animals run, wrestle, nibble on grass and live peacefully with the other animals in the field, really does inspire me to work as hard as I can to save the colony. Enjoy this beautiful spring day!

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #10

Hello Friends! I was just out watching the colony from my balcony and the prairie dogs have been super active these last few days with the warmer weather. The younger dogs are chasing one another and wrestling, the older and larger dogs are alert and gathering grasses. I saw lots of birds as well as rabbits gathering in the field and it is alive with Spring activity! I am sad that this thriving and active community of wildlife will be soon losing its home, but I am excited for the colony to be relocated and, hopefully, never have to face this kind of trauma again. It is nice to see everyone alive and well today, and I wonder if they know what's on the horizon for them. Relocation will take some of their lives, but we have to maintain our focus on protecting this colony as well as what the future holds for all Colorado wildlife.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #9

Friends! Today, the permit application to relocate the prairie dogs has begun! I received the signature of the developer to grant permission to remove and relocate, and now we are going to start on the other sections. We will be receiving a decision on a relocation site by the end of this month, so fingers crossed! I cannot thank you enough for your support and your generous donations. Small victories will become large victories! It is a good day!

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #7

Friends, the fundraiser has hit 20% of its goal! Thanks to your generosity, we are well on our way to providing the prairie dogs with a way to a new home. Please tell your friends, and/or share the fundraiser on social media. Thank you! PS...I am going to record another podcast in a few days with new developments, so stay tuned.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #5

I decided to make a podcast, to provide weekly updates, on the prairie dog relocation efforts. Listen here:

https://soundcloud.com/mark-snyder-jr-290508130/prairie-dog-podcast-1

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #4

Friends, the campaign is now an entire week old and because of your generosity, we have raised $2990.00 since last Sunday. There are a few things in the works regarding fundraising as well as a meeting for organizing and brainstorming next steps. All is taking shape and I am sincerely appreciative of your support. Thank you, everyone, for caring. PS. The sun is shining here in Colorado, and the prairie dogs are out and about, chasing one another and enjoying the warmer, spring weather.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #3

Hi Friends! Here is a link to the news story that was originally aired on Monday, March 18th @ 5pm on Denver7 News.

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/our-colorado/parker-resident-pushes-to-save-prairie-dogs-during-development-says-city-needs-to-think-bigger-growth-picture

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #2

Friends, because of your unbelievably kind generosity, you have helped me reach over 10% ($1,605) of our goal...in just a few days of starting the campaign. You are incredibly inspiring to me and I just cannot thank you in a way that would explain my gratitude. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. When the prairie dogs are saved, it will be due to you.

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Mark Snyder Jr posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #1

Friends, because of so many generous supporters and donors, we were able to raise $600, just today. You are all inspiring to me and what seemed so bleak just a few days ago, is really starting to take shape. My next focus is on land for relocation. If anyone has a potential lead,, please forward them my way! My email is: mrsnyde1@yahoo.com. Once I can find a land owner that will accept new prairie dogs, I can apply for the permit with CPW. So many potential obstacles, but where there's a will, there's a way! Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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