Prairie Dog Information and Permits
View Ordinance No. 4 Series 2020.
The control of prairie dogs located on non-City-owned property within Lafayette requires a prairie dog control permit issued by the Planning Director, in addition to any applicable permit under any Colorado Division of Wildlife or Department of Agriculture permitting processes. It is unlawful for any person to perform control activity on a prairie dog in Lafayette without a special permit or prairie dog control permit. If a control permit is authorized, the permittee shall only be allowed to use carbon monoxide as a means of lethal control to avoid injury to predators. No permits will be issued during the birthing and rearing season, March 1–June 1.
There are two permit types: control permits and special permits. A control permit is required for all prairie dog control efforts unless it qualifies under the special permit requirements or is exempt.
Permit time frames
Complete applications for special permits are required to be processed (approved or denied) within five business days.
Complete applications for control permits (not qualifying as special permits) must be processed within 120 days and have a 60-day notice period in which signs are posted on the property, legal notice is published in a local newspaper, and certain documents are made available for the public to view on the City's website.
Call 303-661-1270 or email Planning.
There are no applications under review at this time.
Prairie Dogs in Lafayette
Wildlife and its habitat are significant factors in the quality of life enjoyed by Lafayette residents. The presence of various species of wildlife provides numerous biological, economic, recreational, psychological, and spiritual benefits to the community. The responsibility for protecting Lafayette’s wildlife resources is shared by elected officials, City of Lafayette staff, private property owners, and others.
Land development, regional location, and other factors have resulted in increases in conflicts between prairie dogs, landowners, and prairie dog control measures. The City of Lafayette has established the following actions to ensure responsible management of prairie dogs within city limits.
Prairie Dog Management Policy for public lands
View the Prairie Dog Management Policy
It is the City’s policy to avoid adverse impacts to prairie dog towns to the extent reasonable. If impacts to prairie dogs cannot reasonably be avoided in conjunction with a “City” project, such as in cases where an overriding public need or benefit is incompatible with preservation of a prairie dog colony on a specific parcel of City-owned or City-managed land, one or a combination of alternatives will be utilized.
These alternatives, in order of preference, will be followed without prior public notice:
- Passive relocation
- Relocation to City Open Space
- Relocation to alternative sites
- Lethal control using carbon monoxide only
Formation and operation of the Prairie Dog Advisory Working Group: 2019-2023
In 2019, City Council created the Prairie Dog Advisory Working Group to address issues related to grassland ecosystems, wildlife protection approaches, specific prairie dog management techniques, and increased prairie dog/human land use conflict.
In 2021, PDAWG was granted a second two-year term. The term of this working group expired in February 2023. The Lafayette City Council and staff extend their appreciation for the time, expertise, and assistance the working group members provided during their tenure.