CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Efforts to save Clovis’ prairie dogs have hit another snag.
City Manager Joe Thomas says officials in Texas’ Mitchell County oppose a proposal to move Clovis’ unwanted prairie dogs to private land in the west-central Texas county.
That leaves the fate of hundreds of the critters in limbo, the Clovis News Journal (http://bit.ly/1cSSEUJ) reported.
Clovis earlier this year poisoned some of the prairie dogs at the request of farmers, sparking efforts to find non-lethal ways to remove the animals.
Thomas provided Clovis commissioners with a letter in which Mitchell County Judge Ray Mayo said the county’s commissioners on Oct. 11 “went on record not to approve the relocation of prairie dogs to Mitchell County.”
In the letter, Mayo said Mitchell County officials were worried that reintroduction of prairie dogs could be destructive to farm and ranch land and that neighbors of the proposed location site “are adamant in their opposition.”
The Clovis City Commission on Oct. 3 authorized Citizens for Prairie Dogs to move the animals from the Clovis Civic Center and two parks but only under conditions that included obtaining written approval from Mitchell County.
“The way I read the letter, it’s definitely an objection,” Thomas said.
The city has drawn national attention for its actions on prairie dogs this year, beginning when it poisoned the animals at Ned Houk Park at the request of nearby farmers.
In September, the animal was added to the city’s definition of public nuisance, requiring property owners to destroy the animals on their property if complaints were filed.
Officials in New Mexico’s Chaves County have also rejected a request from the citizens group to move the animals there.