Fountain residents concerned over possible owl poisonings
Last updated 3/13/2020 at 5:31pm
A controversy is brewing in Fountain around a vacant lot where one citizen claims burrowing owls were poisoned last week. The poison was allegedly sprayed to get rid of prairie dogs, but a witness claims it may have killed two female burrowing owls in the process.
Wildlife advocates and neighbors are very upset about the situation and are petitioning various government groups to get involved and investigate what happened. A Facebook group (Save the Colorado Burrowing Owls) set up specifically for this week's incident has grown to more than 500 members already.
A city official confirms that the site in question – Jimmy Camp and Link roads – is the proposed site of a new dollar store, and added that responsibility for any actions would belong to the property owner and the USDA, which sent an employee to eradicate the prairie dogs.
"The City of Fountain does not have legal authority in this matter," City of Fountain Communications Manager John Trylch said. "However, the city did advise the property owner to contact the USDA and Colorado Fish and Wildlife to ensure they were compliant with all appropriate state and federal laws and regulations."
Doug Harling, a wildlife enthusiast and photographer whose "Birds of El Paso County" previously was a regular feature in the Fountain Valley News, is heading up this campaign to determine what happened to the owls he said he saw on the site earlier this week. He is asking for anyone with photos or information on these owls to come forward.
We'll have a full story read for you in next week's issue.