LIVING IN BALANCE FROM THE HEART with JoAnne Dodgson, Ed.D. (www.pathwaysforhealing.net)
“It was the prairie dogs,” she smiled, looking over her lush vegetable garden. During the hot desert summer, Sofia had been concerned her plants wouldn’t survive. She didn’t own rights to the fresh water streaming by in the acequia, the irrigation ditch leading from the river to her neighbors’ fields. Looking around the land, still trying to piece together her story, I silently wrestled with the idea that somebody owned the water. And what had the prairie dogs done?
A chattering flock of chickens and two woolly sheep watched attentively as Sofia and I gingerly walked through the garden. We admired the leafy greens, the diverse shapes, colors and stages of the growth of the vegetables. Sofia told me how feeding her baby these homegrown foods was so important to her. “It was the prairie dogs who brought the water, ” she said with delight.
Not everybody smiles when they talk about prairie dogs. There are those who go to great lengths and use quite horrific means to get prairie dogs off their lands. Because prairie dogs like to live in large extended family groups. And prairie dogs love to dig. They are gifted architects of underground tunnels, instinctively building extensive networks of burrows for their homes. Many people don’t want these wild animals disturbing their gardens or manicured lawns.
Last summer, here in the desert valley, the acequia gate was opened as usual and the river water flowed into the irrigation ditch which by-passed Sofia’s land. Unexpectedly, because of the prairie dogs, the water had a new underground network of pathways to follow. Water seeped into these hidden tunnels and found it’s way to the very roots of the plants in Sofia’s garden – inviting the garden to flourish and provide abundant food for her family, not to mention delectable treats for the chickens, deer and rabbits too.
Prairie dogs live deeply connected with the soils of the earth. Water passionately flows, touching and nourishing life along it’s way. Precious resources, unexpected gifts and creative collaborations come alive when we’re not warring against “the bad guys,” even the little furry ones.
Cherishing the mother earth.
Loving the water.
Trusting the natural flow.
How beautiful life can be.
from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,
iTwixie Studies Prairie Dogs: Week Seventeen
Meet the PDC’s Interim Director!
Alison Collins, a native of Boulder, brings 6 years of experience in HR, and over 5 years in administration, project management and event planning. A seasoned professional with outreach, public relations, and training, Alison has worked with Jefferson County, the City of Boulder, and the St Julien Hotel & Spa, among others.
Holding a BA in Political Science, Alison has dedicated time, effort and support to animal and social causes, through volunteer work, petitioning, and prairie dog relocations, censuses and advocacy. Alison also has been active in political campaigns, and was elected as a delegate to the Boulder County and Colorado State Democratic Conventions in 2008.
Prairie Dog Meditation
Suryaya Idam Na Mama
Prajapataye Idam Na Mama
"I watched prairie dogs every day rise before the sun, stand
with their paws pressed together facing the rising sun in total
stillness for up to 30 minutes," says Williams, "and then I watched
them at the end of the day take that same gesture 30 minutes
before the sun goes down. They would press their palms together
in perfect stillness. I don't mean to anthropomorphize, but when
you look at a creature that has survived over the millennium begin
and end each day in that kind of stance, it causes one to think about
one's own life and the speed and rapidity in which we live."
From "Finding Beauty In A Broken World" by Terry Tempest Williams, an environmentalist committed to showing man's impact on the land.
Zack the Prairie Dog Announcement
New book promotes prairie and autism awareness!
For every book sold through the following link www.zacktheprairiedog.com 25% of the proceeds go back to Prairie Dog Coalition. Simply mention "Please support Prairie Dog Coalition" in the comment section of your order. Click here to find out more and read a letter from the author.
Prairie Dog Day Radio Interview!
On Monday morning, February 2nd (2009), I had the good fortune to conduct a Prairie Dog interview on A Public Affair, one of the radio programs I host at KGNU. My guests were Lindsey Sterling Krank and Dr. C. N. Slobodchikoff. Lindsey is an environmental scientist and Executive Director of the Prairie Dog Coalition and Dr. Slobodchikoff is a professor of biology at Northern Arizona University. Additionally, Dr. Slobochikoff is co-author (with Bianca Perla and Jennifer Verdolin) of the book, Prairie Dogs - Communication and Community in an Animal Society. Our time together was packed-full of information about Prairie Dogs so I hope listeners will use it as an opportunity in acting to protect these special creatures!
Click here to listen to the radio show!
Prairie Dog Art Contest!
From now until January 23rd, Denver Zoo will be holding a Prairie Dog Art Contest, in partnership with Prairie Dog Coalition and WildEarth Guardians, to celebrate Prairie Dog Day!
The contest is open to children in grades Pre K – 6. All entries to the contest will be displayed at Denver Zoo for Prairie Dog Day on Sunday, February 1st.
2009 Prairie Dog Calendars!
Order yours on the PDC website and we will get a $5 donation!!!
Photographer Sandy Nervig created a Prairie Dogs of Colorado 2009 Calendar that includes all 3 Colorado species: black-tailed, white-tailed and Gunnison’s.
Click here to see a sample of the calendar images
They’re available for $20/each (+ $2/shipping) to help educate people on and support Sandy’s work for prairie dogs, their habitat, and their plight, and for you to enjoy!
Email or call the PDC if you’re interested at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-938-0788.
Happy New Year Everyone and Here’s to making ’09 the start of renewed animal and environmental protections!
For the Life of the Prairie,
Sandy Nervig & Lindsey Sterling Krank
Prarie Dog Coalition Video
Conata Basin, SD
The best place in the world for prairie dog and endangered black-footed ferret recovery.
Check out our featured slideshow here and learn what the PDC is doing to help!
Check out the Prairie Dog Coalition featured in the Roots & Shoots Newsletter!
Roots & Shoots became a member of the Coalition after our collaboration on Prairie Dog Day '08. Roots & Shoots member, Luke Zitwal, age 10 is featured for his awesome work in Utah. Download Newsletter
This is the PDC's new summer intern - Caitlin Schlauder
My name is Caitlin and I’m excited to be doing an internship with The Prairie Dog Coalition this summer. I’m a Political Science student at the University of Colorado, Denver and I’m attempting history and writing as minors. I’ve always loved animals, and prairie dogs seem to have gotten the shortest end of the stick here in my hometown of Westminster, Colorado, not to mention everywhere else. Thanks for having me and I’m anxious to learn anything I can about animal rights this summer to help begin my career when I graduate in a year and a half.
Prairie Dog Day
February may seem far away, but it’s time to start planning our next Prairie Dog Day activities. In 2007, Prairie dog Day was celebrated from coast to coast and children in more than 50 classrooms got to learn about the prairie dog and take action on their behalf! Each class we visited received a Prairie Basket filled with children’s books, student created activity books, educational DVDs, songs, prairie dog skeletons, bones and literature for the teachers. In 2008, we plan to take this project even further! Our committee intends to get into even more classrooms, and expand our territory and media coverage beyond Colorado & New Mexico. If you are interested in participating in the planning committee, have a classroom you’d like us to visit or want to be involved in another way, visit our website and contact us today.
PDC & Prairie Preservation Alliance Team Up With Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Group
With the help of Judy Enderle, President of PPA and PDC board member, we set up a three part series for Lafayette’s local Roots & Shoots group. Students were treated to an educational presentation by Judy, and a visit from a rescued prairie dog brought by the Denver Zoo. Students also planted native vegetation to enhance a prairie dog barrier in Broomfield, CO. The barrier prohibits prairie dogs from being poisoned.
Colorado & South Dakota Voters Weigh in on Prairie Dog Protection
In September of 2006, we took a poll of 400 voters to determine what they think about prairie dog protection and find out if you all know just how endangered the prairie dog really is. We found out that...
- 65% of Colorado voters oppose poisoning prairie dogs on public lands.
- 68% of Colorado voters oppose allowing recreational shooting of prairie dogs on public land.
- 63% of voters in both states favor strict protections for prairie dogs on public lands.
- 72% of Colorado voters favored requiring developers to pay a mitigation fee for destroying prairie dog colonies
After hearing arguments on both sides of prairie dog protection, the amount of public support in favor of prairie dog protection increased.
We also found out that most people did not know the prairie dog population has decreased.
This is a big sign that we need to be getting the word out that in fact, prairie dogs have declined by at least 95%!
Now we all have a chance to spread the word!
Use the enclosed bookmark to help us get the correct messages out for prairie dogs.
Poll conducted by Lake Research Partners. Margin of error is +/- 4.9% across both states and +/- 6.9% in each state.
The Prairie Dog Coalition and members John Hoogland and Dianne James present our new website
Click here to visit the site.
The purpose of our interactive website is to increase the understanding of prairie dogs. Users may submit questions and receive answers about prairie dogs online.
John Hoogland is a professor of biology at The University of Maryland, and has been studying the ecology and social behavior of prairie dogs under natural conditions for the last 33 years. He studied black-tailed prairie dogs at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota for 16 years; then studied Gunnison’s prairie dogs at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona for 7 years; and then scrutinized Utah prairie dogs at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah for 10 years. John has just initiated long-term research with white-tailed prairie dogs at The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. His two most important publications are The Black-tailed Prairie Dog (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and Conservation of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Island Press, 2006).
Dianne James has been an active participant in relocation of black-tailed prairie dogs in the Denver area, and has contributed efforts toward scientific research into the anatomy, physiology, and epidemiology of prairie dogs. She is proactive in her approach as she advocates for all five species of prairie dogs and has lobbied for legislation that promotes the conservation of prairie dogs and their grassland habitats, and has answered hundreds of questions about prairie dogs for lawmakers, administrators, and curious naturalists. Dianne has welcomed countless prairie dogs (black-tailed and Gunnison’s) into her home for rescue and rehabilitation and can answer many of your questions about caring for prairie dogs. Her passion for prairie dogs has effectively spread throughout the communities she is a part of.
Please visit our website and pass this announcement on to your email lists. Thank you.
Need to dig for prairie dog information?
Predator Conservation Alliance, The Prairie Dog Coalition and the Denver Zoological Foundation are proud to announce the launch of the first-ever online scientific database focused on the prairie dog ecosystems
With over 2,600 entries, this online library catalogs articles from a wide range of sources including scientific and trade publications, magazines, and community resources dating from the 1800s to present. Many of the article abstracts and hard-copies are available upon request.
Besides prairie dogs, research on other species living in the prairie dog ecosystem are also included-- black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, swift foxes, ferruginous hawks, and many others!
Search by keyword(s), title, author name, or article abstract & it is FREE!
Use the database for comparative research, collecting scientific data, reading management plans, classroom education, or other creative ideas.
Dr. Jane Goodall Joins the Prairie Dog Coalition!
Thanks to volunteer, Joanne Reince, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace has agreed to supoort the mission of the Prairie Dog Coalition. Coalition members had the honor of meeting with Dr. Goodall to discuss the plight of the prairie dog and our protection efforts. Dr. Goodall had some great ideas that we are excited to pursue! Stay tuned for this exciting advance for prairie dogs and their habitat. Welcome Dr. Jane Goodall.
Nine different wildlife species depend on the prairie dog and their habitat for their survival. The prairie dog is a critical component to healthy North American grasslands. ~ Dr. Jane Goodall ~
Power point presentations from the 2003 Prairie Dog Summit are up and ready for user viewing.
Click here or click on resources link on the left side menu for access.
All presentations were accompanied by a talk.
All research included in the presentations belong to the authors.
Use permission must be obtained from the authors. Unauthorized use is illegal. For further information on any of the presentations, contact the members on the Coalition Members page or the Coalition office at email@example.com or 720-938-0788 to retrieve contact information for the presenters.