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Are Prairie Dogs a nuisance that needs to be dealt with? Or are they part of the natural wildlife in Lubbock that needs to be left alone?

The answer to that may depend on where you live and if the City of Lubbock believes it's a natural environment or not.

According to reports from KCBD this week, the City of Lubbock believes it is time to do something about the prairie dog holes around the Canyon Lake system, starting with Lake 1 in north Lubbock. Officials with the City of Lubbock and the Parks and Recreation Department say that the land is in bad shape and the prairie dog holes make it dangerous. Colby VanGundy told KCBD that the prairie dog holes make it to where you can run, fly a kite, or do anything without fear of breaking an ankle by stepping in one of the holes.

Chad Hasty, KFYO.com
Chad Hasty, KFYO.com
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The City of Lubbock says one solution is to change the environment while another is to eradicate the prairie dogs by gassing them with carbon dioxide. Some residents at the District 1 meeting raised concerns about the plan asking for a more humane solution to be used. The City of Lubbock says forcing the Prairie Dogs to move on their own is the number one plan, but if they don't, they will be eradicated.

Some other residents have expressed concerns about Burrowing Owls possibly being targeted accidentally. Burrowing Owls are common along the Canyon Lake System.

canva.com
canva.com
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City officials say the lack of "natural controls" is why the prairie dog population has exploded. According to VanGundy, in the more rural areas of Lubbock, coyotes and hawks help control the population and that isn't happening around the Canyon Lake System.

The battle between man and prairie dog begins later this month starting with Lake 1 near North University. Holes will be filled and buffalo grass will be added. The next move is from the prairie dogs.

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Gallery Credit: Chad Hasty

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Gallery Credit: Chad Hasty

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Gallery Credit: Chad Hasty

 

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