Wildlife - Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About the Urban Wildlife Management Plan
What is the purpose and intent of the UWMP?
The purpose of Urban Wildlife Management Plan (UWMP) is to establish a set of policies and guidelines for managing wildlife within the City of Boulder. The intent of the plan is to fill the gap in wildlife management in the Boulder Valley by integrating urban wildlife management with existing and emerging plans and policies of the Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP). The plan establishes a framework for making urban wildlife management decisions, provide direction on regulatory and program changes and outline a set of actions for long-term management of wildlife conflicts.
The purpose of the prairie dog management component of the UWMP is to identify prairie dog protection opportunities in the urban service area and outline strategies for resolving short and long-term conflicts involving prairie dogs in the urban service area. There are five primary questions that the plan addresses:
- Where in the city should prairie dogs be protected?
- Where should they be removed?
- How can we protect them (in place) and minimize conflicts?
- How should we remove them if necessary?
- How do we balance costs and humane treatment?
What are the boundaries or geographic scope of the plan? Does the plan include Open Space and Mountain Parks?
The geographic scope of the plan is the developed area of the city that receives urban services, such as water and sewer. Open Space and Mountain Parks departmental policies guide the management of wildlife habitat on OSMP lands. However, in areas where the developed areas adjoin open space, the plan proposes management strategies to address the values and conflicts of that interface area.
General Questions About Urban Wildlife Issues
What is the city doing to manage black bear and mountain lion issues? How do we avoid conflicts in residential areas?
An interagency working group was formed in 2003 to enhance public education and investigate management options to reduce potential conflicts with bears in residential areas, with particular focus on the neighborhoods west of Broadway. The Colorado Division of Wildlife and city staff has engaged in extensive community outreach and education efforts concerning bears for a number of years. Based on the experiences of 2003, including the necessary destruction of a bear by the Division of Wildlife, those efforts were assessed and refined during 2004. A city staff team has been working to enhance educational efforts and evaluate management alternatives and the bear management practices of other jurisdictions.
The Interagency Bear Team has developed and distributed brochures that outline steps that residents can take to avoid conflicts. The team, with support from trained volunteers, has provided education to residents on bears and mountain lions through neighborhood meetings, meetings with the business community, Farmer’s Market displays, hikes and talks by city staff and volunteers. The interagency team will continue to collaborate on all aspects of bear management, including continued educational efforts to the residents of Boulder. Additionally, other program changes and regulatory options are being evaluated in the context of what the city may need to consider imposing within specific geographic areas of the city and/or during specific time periods of the year. This effort will also be coordinated and refined in the context of the development of the Urban Wildlife Management Plan when appropriate.
Who do I call for information about wildlife issues/conflicts?
In an emergency, call 911 and the dispatcher will help you assess the situation and determine who should respond. Animal Control (303-442-4030) can provide assistance and education for nuisance animals.
For educational programs, you can call the Open Space/Mountain Parks Department at 303-441-3440 or the Colorado Division of Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
For more information, contact Val Matheson, Urban Wildlife Conservation Coordinator, at 303-441-3004 or
If you have development plans for your property that may be in conflict with prairie dogs on the site or if you have any questions about prairie dogs lethal control permits, go to the Wildlife Ordinance site. If prairie dogs are causing nuisance problems for you or the uses on your property, do not attempt to poison or kill the animals. Please call Animal Control at 303-442-4030 for assistance.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 12:08