For Immediate Release Thursday, December
Royder, (512) 441-4941
LUBBOCK COUNCIL TO VOTE ON
CHRISTMAS PRAIRIE DOG MASSACRE
Environmental Groups Decry 11th Hour Plan
— The Lubbock City Council will vote today on a controversial plan
that would eliminate prairie dogs from portions of the Lubbock Land
Application Site (LLAS) over the Christmas holiday, according to a
draft released today by Texas Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility (Texas PEER). In a letter released today,
a coalition of local and national environmental organizations is denouncing
the city’s action as misguided, of questionable legality and hurriedly
run through the Council to avoid public scrutiny.
City of Lubbock gained notoriety this summer when it proposed to completely
destroy one of the largest black-tailed prairie dog colonies in the
southwestern United States. That plan came in response to an
order from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that
blamed prairie dog burrows for groundwater pollution under the site.
Faced with a lawsuit from the same coalition of groups sending today’s
letter, TCEQ reversed its finding and ordered the City to determine
the true cause of water quality and soil contamination problems.
The current plan has scaled back the area in which prairie dogs will
be destroyed, but continues to call for the eradication of prairie
dogs from large portions of the site.
In its letter to City leaders, the coalition of environmental organizations
asked the City for a meeting to discuss numerous flaws in the updated
The absence of any evidence that eliminating prairie dogs will protect
threatened ground water;
Possible criminal violations from plugging the underground burrows
of federally protected burrowing owls in the middle of winter; and
The risk of new pollution violations by continuing to spray polluted
water at rates greater than the soil can safely absorb.
the cover of the holiday season, Lubbock’s leaders are trying to ram
through a half-baked plan to slaughter a rare species for no discernable
reason,” commented Texas PEER Director Scott Royder, whose
organization led the coalition that successfully sued officials over
the last prairie dog plan last October. “While, we are ready
to fight this again in the courts, it makes a whole lot more sense
for the City to come to the table and talk with the scientists and
others who can help them get to the bottom of this mess.”
the city’s draft plan and
the coalition letter.
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· P.O. Box 1522; Austin TX ·
441-4941 · txpeer@PEER.org