Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Boulder County to Monitor Fence at Twin Lakes

 

January 21, 2016



Recent concerns about wildlife and vandalism have the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department keeping a close eye on Twin Lakes in Gunbarrel.

The suburban retention ponds were split by a fence in August of 2015 due to rules regarding dogs being on leashes. On the east side, dogs must be on a leash, but on the west side, it is not required, and dogs can run free.

The county’s solution was to build a fence to separate the two areas, and locals have been on both sides of it for the last few months.

Shortly after the fence was completed, three openings were created along the fence. Another three were added in December, and the seventh opening was installed on Jan. 5.

The reason for the openings is to allow a crossing for wildlife in the area to go from one lake to the other, and Boulder County spokesperson Vivienne Jannatpour said that the animals that are mainly affected are rabbits and turtles.

“It’s being monitored by the biologists and the rangers,” Jannatpour said. “They feel like it’s a good situation for the wildlife and the people and dogs that are using the property.”

“It’s not a formal study — we have people out there all the time. Our biologists are familiar with the property, so they know what signs to look for. We’re sure we’ll hear from the public too.”

Aside from rabbits and turtles, coyotes and foxes are also seen in the area and will be able to use the openings. Waterfowl and other birds will obviously not be affected.

But some area residents apparently don’t feel that the seven openings are enough. Last week someone cut out a section of the fence at night, forcing county workers to make repairs.

“That’s not a good thing - it’s vandalism and our rangers are keeping an eye out,” Jannatpour said. “Now we’re going to be out there more, both for that and to monitor the wildlife and the whole situation.”

Jannatpour said that ranger presence in the area has increased, as have the biologists watching the effects of the fence.

“It is treated and managed different than our mountain or plains properties,” Jannatpour said. “Those are treated differently. (Twin Lakes) is not a pristine wildlife habitat, it’s in the suburbs.

“We feel that the wildlife that is there — which is not what you would see in the mountains — will be fine with the fence. We’ll be keeping an eye on it, and we’ll be responding to concerns of course. But we really feel confident with our biologists’ expertise and that this is a good solution.”

 

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