A few months ago, media tycoon Ted Turner offered the City Of Boulder a herd of Buffalo to majestically graze on the edge of town and expose our visitors to Boulder’s wonderful Western History right from the county line. No brainer right? Not only would a herd of American Buffalo be a fabulous feather in our “Boulder’s the most thoughtful town in America” cap, it’s a perfect match for all the values we tout when it comes to endangered species, Native Americans, returning the Western Plains to their natural habitat and spending tons and tons of taxpayer dollars on the pet projects of an elite few… excuse the “pet” pun.
Boy was I wrong! Apparently we open our hearts and spend over a million dollars a year (this is not an exaggeration) on protecting and relocating the poor little Prairie
Rats Dogs but when asked to construct a $450,000 fence to house one of North America’s National Treasures not only do we feel it’s a waste of money but we’re actually OFFENDED by an offer that comes with an expectation of responsibility on our end. The complaints against Turner’s gift ranged from “plastic bags will collect in the fence” to “the buffalo will cause car crashes when drivers pull over to view the herd”, and, my absolute favorite, “We need to consider that idea of drunk college students climbing the fence to run with the herd and potentially getting trampled to death”. I can’t make this stuff up.
After much debate among the few, City Council turned the gift down… their reasons included the three I mentioned above.
Knowing I was not alone in my disbelief, I wrote this Letter To The Editor of The Daily Camera. And, to my anti-Boulder shock, it was actually published in today’s online edition:
Had Ted Turner done a little Prairie Dog research he would have realized the only way to convince Boulder to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars feeding, fencing and caring for a native species is not to give it as a gift but instead to threaten to exterminate it.
A herd of Buffalo would have been an amazing addition to the natural beauty Boulder holds so dear but unfortunately we do not like good ideas coming from outsiders, definitely not cool ones like this.
So the next time Turner deems Boulder to be one of the few places in North America worthy enough to adopt a national treasure such as a herd of endangered Buffalo, consider incorporating “neutralize,” “slaughter” and “eradicate” into the dialogue and I promise the tax dollars will flow.
The only response I’ve gotten so far reads “LOL! You’re probably right!”. Hey, at least there’s another person in Boulder with a sense of humor!
Love this place!