When I drive around the area that I have grown up in, in Douglas County and Castle Rock, I notice all around me the earth being churned up and replaced with concrete and death. There are numerous prairie dogs living on the landscape in many areas now slated for development and much of the land is going to be developed given the growth plan for our community that is in place with the town and county. The sounds of the prairie dogs chirping rise above the machinery and when you listen closely you can still hear a myriad of bird calls, of wind, of life rustling across the landscape. Life still exists here and wants to live. It is not too late to save what remains of our living planet and to insist on the regeneration of that life.
As I head back to the beautiful land base where I live, about 15 miles from the town, I escape all of the mechanical clanging and arrive home. This is where the small handful of the remaining prairie dog survivors has been relocated. They are getting used to the new land, running back and forth, standing sentinel, chirping, jump-yipping, kissing and hugging in the sun. They are getting to know each other again in a different landscape, figuring out the new predators, and settling down in their new home. But their new home is not their true home; it is not where their ancestors have been for decades, where the bones of their loved ones and families are embedded in the land. This land is not where they originated, and they have been through hell on their way here. They will begin to adjust, to call the place home, but the tragedy that happened to them, because of development, must not be forgotten. They lost 95% of their families, their land, their loved ones and were handled, caged, flushed out of their only homes and forced to a foreign land because there are no protections in place for prairie dogs and the prairies they inhabit.