Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prairie Dog Stamps

This is the artwork from a block of stamps that the USPS issued in 2001. It depicts what a healthy prairie might look like. While the prairie dogs are "black tails", I think you could imagine a similar scene here in New Mexico with Gunnisons.

Prognosticating Prairie Dogs Predict ???

From Newsday....

Out of Chuck's shadow

Little guys can prognosticate, too

Newsday Staff Writer

January 31, 2007

No one, not even Punxsutawney Phil himself, could have ever predicted that a wide array of fellow rodents would eventually bask wistfully in his shadow.

But when Friday brings Groundhog Day, weather forecasting seems to become a full-fledged family business. Long Islanders regularly cast their meteorologic lots with two suburban chucks, Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal, and residents of New York City turn to Staten Island's own chuck, Chuck. Until recently when the zoo eliminated its prairie-dog exhibit, city dwellers even had Flushing Phil and Corona Kate, the Queens Zoo's pair of prognosticating prairie dogs, the groundhog's smaller cousins casting smaller, but no less significant, silhouettes on what the zoo declared was "Ground Dog Day."

"Smaller isn't always less informative," said Kate McIntyre, the zoo's
communications manager.

In Jefferson County, Colo., some prairie dog devotees are counting heavily on that faith in prognosticating prairie dogs. Members of the Prairie Dog Coalition, Forest Guardians and a number of other advocacy groups spy spring in the step of every prairie dog they see - except they've been seeing fewer and fewer prairie dogs each year. The critters' numbers continue to shrink dramatically as the result of hunting, poisonings and other forms of eradication by humans.

In a gesture that evokes Flushing Phil and Corona Kate - but is rooted in tribute to Punxsutawney Phil - the alliance is pushing for an official declaration of "Prairie Dog Day" on Friday, to share the spotlight, if not the shadow, with the big toothy guy in Pennsylvania.

Officials in Boulder and Lakewood, Colo., recently proclaimed Feb. 2 to be Prairie Dog Day, following the previous leads of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M. As in Punxsutawney, the day is being set aside locally for public education activities, most of them focused, for now, on schoolchildren.

And Enda Keegan, a New York singer-songwriter, has written "Living Free," an original tribute to the creatures' survival that can be heard on the Web site prairiedogday .org.

Eventually, organizers hope to take the event countywide, statewide and beyond.

This is not a case of groundhog envy, said Lindsey Sterling, Prairie Dog Coalition director. Organizers are hardly advocating that folks chuck the woodchuck.

"No, we love the groundhog, and we are celebrating the groundhog, too," she said. "The people who have been putting on Groundhog Day have been successful in garnering public attention ... and we wanted to see what we could do for the prairie dogs. They are, after all, cousins."

Scientists have determined that prairie dogs are also a keystone species, meaning their continued presence is critical to the ecosystem and viability of other species.

Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, the annual event's organizer, understand that prairie dogs don't aim to be groundhogging Phil's moment in the sun. Quite the contrary.

"Hey, we are not jealous people," said Bill Cooper, club president. "We basically take care of our own business, and if they want to use Feb. 2 for their cause, then more power to them."

Phil is decidedly apolitical, Cooper said, but is sympathetic to the perils of animals under human pursuit. In Pennsylvania, he said, "groundhogs are hunted 365 days of the year."

Likewise, all five species of prairie dog "are in desperate straits right
now," said Lauren McCain, a program director for Forest Guardians in Denver. "They have declined by over 90 percent of their original ranges and, for some, it is much worse."

The question remains: Can an icon of the Great American West find happiness on Feb. 2 with an icon of a 120-year-old midwinter tradition transplanted from Europe?

McCain said she hopes so.

"Some day in the future, when we see a broadcast of Punxsutawney Phil ... I foresee perhaps a cutaway on the news, just mentioning us, to create awareness," she prognosticated.

"I see us emerging." Just in time for spring.

Copyright (c) 2007, Newsday, Inc.

Caregivers Meeting

There will be a Prairie Dog Pals caregivers meeting on Sunday, February 25 2007, from 100-300 PM, at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church. 211 Jefferson St NE (one block north of Central, between San Mateo and Washington), Albuquerque, NM 87108-2517. We will be discussing site priorities, areas of need, and other relevant topics. Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

If you have any questions call 293-5756.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Punxsutawney Phil versus Cynomys Rex

Greetings! And happy ground hog day! I'll have you know, however that Cynomys Rex has "one upped" Punxsutawney Phil this year....

According to the old English saying:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

From Scotland:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.

From Germany:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

And from America:

If the sun shines on Groundhog Day;
Half the fuel and half the hay.

Yes indeed, I was up the other day and Sherri spotted me, but not a moment too soon I ducked back down the burrow and missed the snow.....but I guess you know what that means? Indeed: PHIL IS WRONG THIS YEAR.....for I predict more cold weather!!!!

If nothing else, look at poor cynomys buried in the snow!

It was with trepedation that I burrowed up to Cynomys not knowing if I could roust it from its winter sleep. Buried deep in the snow Cynomys looked, hibernative, so to speak. Fortunately all was well and it started right up, first crank.

It had been my intention to get the emissions test done but judging by the 3 foot drifts I think I wait for warmer weather. None the less, Cynomys is looking west for a good 2007 season.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This is pathetic. We've had 3 comments and 2 of them were obscene and were deleted by the blogger webmaster! What gives? Surely you have an opinion! I mean everyone does. They are like....never mind.... Say if you have an opinion lett'er rip! C Rex


Kudos, congratulations, and appropriate sustained applause go to Sherri Domres for spotting the first prairie dog of the 2007 season. Sherri called this afternoon to report sighting a cynomys at Rover! Fortunately she saw only one and perhaps the mild weather roused him (or her) for a look see. Hopefully the incoming weather will convince the early riser to head back down for another six weeks of winter weather. Where's Phil when you need him???? Oh that's on the 1st! Oh well.

Sherri has won the prize and when we figure out what it is she will be awarded it with all appropriate pomp and circumstance. ...at Prairie Dog Pal-ooza of course!

And so it begins!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Prairie Dog Pal-ooza

Tickets for Prairie Dog Pal-ooza are now on sale. You can buy them direct from the website (www.prairiedogpals.org/shop for prairie dogs. There are also links on the news page (top) and home page (bottom). You can buy them from Tammy as well (505 410 3884 / tammy@e-solved.com). The tickets are $20/1 and $35/2, combine these to get the number you want. Please support this fund raising event and enjoy an afternoon learning about the language of prairie dogs.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Kansas Prairie Dogs to be poisoned!

OAKLEY, Kan. A western Kansas judge could decide on GroundhogDay whether to force some western Kansas ranchers to move their cattle so county officials can poison prairie dogs. Logan Countycommissioners filed a lawsuit January tenth against ranchers andlandowners who have fought their efforts to wipe out prairie dogs. Farmers and ranchers say the animals destroy pastures and fieldsby digging holes and tunneling. They also say the rodents competewith cattle for grass to forage. Some people who oppose the county's eradication attempts supporta federal effort to reintroduce the endangered black-footed ferretto the area. Prairie dogs are a main food source for the ferrets. A hearing on the matter is set for February second -- GroundhogDay.----A judge will hear the county's request for a temporary injunctionforcing the ranchers and landowners to remove the cattle from anylands while the county applies rodenticide. Information from: The Hays Daily News, http://www.hdnews.netCopyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Thismaterial may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Note from YB: If anyone can take a moment to protest the poisoning, you may beable to connect thru the Hays Daily News website....

Prairie dogs to go to Pawnee National Grassland (Part 2)

Prairie Dogs To Go To Pawnee National Grasslands(AP) FORT COLLINS, Colo. The Forest Service has approvedtransplanting prairie dogs from as many as 30 towns to the Pawnee National Grassland.The plan calls for setting a minimum of 1,000 acres for black-trailed prairie dogs. It is expected it could support 8,500 animals.Those plans include management for a minimum of 1,000 acres ofblack-tailed prairie dog colonies in as many as 30 towns, and a maximum population of 8,500 acres of prairie dog colonies with noupper limit on the number of towns.Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest Supervisor, Glenn Casamassa, okayed the plan.(© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This materialmay not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

Prairie dogs to go to Pawnee National Grassland (Part 1)

By Rocky Mountain NewsJanuary 22, 2007Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests supervisor GlennCasamassa has upheld a controversial decision on the number of black-trailed prairie dogs that will be allowed on the PawneeNational Grassland northeast of Greeley.District Ranger Steve Currey made the original decision last October after environmental analysis and public involvement concerning thenumber of rodents that should be maintained on the 193,000-acrenational grassland — a checkerboard of public and private lands inWeld County, the Forest Service reported in a release today. The decision was to manage for a minimum of 1,000 acres ofblack-tailed prairie dog colonies in a minimum of 30 towns, and amaximum of 8,500-acre prairie dog colonies with no upper limit onthe number of towns. Various tools, including shooting, were included in the decision toconserve and control prairie dogs.The decision wasn't popular with either livestock producers or conservationists — polar opposites on how many should beallowed.Ranchers said due to the drought on the plains, the prairie dogs were eating too much of the grasses needed by cattle and sheep.Conservationists argued to preserve a grassland, prairie dogs are anintegral component, providing not only food for predators, but shelter for burrowing owls and other species.Five appeals to the decision were received by the Forest Service.After reviewing the record and considering the work and recommendations of the appeal review team, Casamassa upheld thedecision."This decision provides for the conservation of black-tailed prairie dogs on the Pawnee National Grassland while allowing the ForestService to be a good neighbor and limit encroachments onto stateand private lands," said Casamassa.


The bus leaves Albuquerque at 1030!

Dear Friends of the Animals,
We have an opportunity to make history for animal protection again! New Mexico is one of only two states that still allows cockfighting. Louisiana is the other state. In the same way that we made the HEART Ordinance a reality, we can stop the brutality of cockfighting. Please read the message from Animal Protection Voters (APV) of NM which follows this message. Buses and/or vans will be made available for those who want to take advantage of the transportation to Santa Fe. APV is also providing a boxed lunch, etc. (see below).

This could be a historic day. We can make a difference for generations to come! If it is at all possible for you to attend the Committee Hearings, please call APV and let them know. It may be a long day but well worth the effort. Feel free to bring a book, snacks, etc. If you can, bring friends, family, a stranger off the street :). We need a crowd! This could be a great learning experience for your children (if they are old enough to sit and understand the legislative process). We are expecting that the cockfighting community and their supporters will show up in droves to oppose the ban!

Of course, as in the past, quiet is expected. Cheering and booing are not permitted. If you have any questions, please either call APV and leave a message or email us. It is very important that you confirm as soon as you can so we have an idea of the turnout and know how many buses/vans are needed.

We sure would enjoy hearing from you, the way we did for the HEART Ordinance. We greatly miss keeping in touch with all of you. Hope to see many, many of you on February 1st! Without your support, change could never take place! Thanks again for all you have done for the animals and continue to do.

With deep appreciation,
PAW ... NM (People for Animal Welfare of NM)

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: APNM News
To: cl18@comcast.net
Subject: Urgent - we need you! Attend Senate Committee Hearing for Cockfighting Ban
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 19:25:29 +0000

Don't Miss It! The Hearing Date for Bill to Ban Cockfighting Bill is Set


It's time to make history folks. On Thursday, February 1, 2007 at . in Room 311 of the State Capitol Building in Santa Fe, SB10 --the bill to ban cockfighting--will be heard before the Senate Conservation Committee.

Will the Fight Go On, or will the cockfighting ban and the 81% of New Mexicans that support a ban finally get an historic vote on the Senate floor this year?

The roosters of New Mexico can't make it to the hearing, -- so they need you to come and be their voice and presence. We must demonstrate with our numbers that the cruelty of animal fighting is not consistent with New Mexican's humane values.

We are making it easy for you to attend by providing free roundtrip transportation from several parts of the state (no need to hassle with parking or directions to the state capitol), a yummy lunch, a limited edition t-shirt and a great time with democracy at its finest.

You will not have to testify. We simply want and need you to attend the hearing to show legislators that there is tremendous support for a cockfighting ban.

Please contact APV immediately, but no later than Tuesday, January 30th to reserve your spot on one of our free vans/shuttles from your area: 505-265-2322 x21 or email mail@apvnm.org. Vans will return to your town the same day. Invite your friends, co-workers and family. Please plan to spend the entire day.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This IS Kansas Dorothy!

Can you believe it, state and federal authorities are poisoning prairie dogs on private property AND charging the owner (who wants to protect the prairie dogs) for the "service". Read on.... http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/nov/23/some_kansas_prairie_dogs_being_exterminated_poison/?state_regional


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Go Bill

State of New Mexico

Office of the Governor

Bill Richardson


For Immediate Release: Contact: Gilbert Gallegos

December 27, 2006 (505) 476-2217

Governor Richardson Announces 10-point Animal

Protection Package

SANTA FE -- Governor Bill Richardson today announced a $3.6 million animal protection package that he will present to the Legislature next month. The Governor announced his plan to help the state’s animal population at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society.

“We are taking a comprehensive approach to protecting animals, starting with a significant investment in preventing pet overpopulation and a strong animal welfare oversight board,” Governor Bill Richardson said.

The Governor’s 10-point plan includes:

$150,000 for Animal Welfare Oversight Board

Governor Richardson proposed $150,000 in recurring funds to create an Animal Welfare Oversight board that will be housed within the Regulation and Licensing Department.

The board will be run by an Executive Director who is responsible for addressing issues of animal welfare at the state level.

$2 million for Animal Shelter Improvements and Operations

Governor’s Richardson’s budget will also include $2 million to help animal shelters around the state improve infrastructure and services.

$500,000 to expand spay/neuter programs.

Governor Richardson proposed $500,000 to expand the existing statewide spay/neuter program to help reduce pet overpopulation.

$100,000 to create grants for adoption and placement programs

Governor Richardson proposed $100,000 in grant monies to help defray the costs of room and board to organizations that offer foster homes for pets awaiting adoption.

$500,000 in grant awards for Aged and Neglected Horse Sanctuaries

Governor Richardson’s proposal invests $500,000 in grant awards for aged and neglected horse sanctuaries. The funding will be geared specifically for facilities that take in unwanted farm/ranch/sport or wild horses.

$150,000 for the New Mexico Livestock Board

Governor Richardson’s budget provides the New Mexico Livestock Board with $150,000 to help them in their efforts to care for abused and neglected horses.

$100,000 for UNM Center for Wildlife Law

Governor Richardson’s proposal includes $100,000 for the UNM Center for Wildlife Law to conduct a study on the effects of climate change on wild animal migratory and residence patterns.

$100,000 for pilot program for schools

Governor Richardson’s budget will include $100,000 for a pilot program for New Mexico public schools to teach humane care and treatment of animals to schoolchildren, which will be administered by the Public Education Department.

The Governor’s proposal also included his plan to urge the Federal Government to improve management of wild horse herds and to develop tourism programs at national wild horse territories. He also pledged his continued support for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s effort to ensure that both Blacktail and Gunnison prairie dogs are maintained as a keystone species, while respecting the rights and considerations of ranchers and municipalities.

Plus he's made a pledge to ban cockfighting in New Mexico!

Write him, email him, or call him with YOUR support!