Nature has answer to the gopher problem

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By The Staff

Nature has answer to the gopher problem

So, Los Alamos County is having a gopher population explosion. That does not surprise me. When you kill off the predators, (bullsnakes, rattlesnakes, etc.) the prey species will take over. Our comprehensive plan says that we will protect our wildlife, but snakes are still getting the back end of the shovel.

Instead of coexisting with the non-venomous snakes, we either killed them off or relocated them to areas that were less inhabited. Many bullsnakes were killed because residents believed them to be rattlesnakes.  One of the ways a non-venomous snake will defend itself is to mimic a rattlesnake. Most snakes will vibrate their tail, coil and strike but the bullsnake also resembles the rattlesnake in coloring and pattern. Once the bullsnake gets over 3 feet long and is the perfect size for dispatching gophers, people perceive the snake as a threat. It doesn't take much of an effort to kill off our wonderful bullsnake population.

Perhaps the Parks Division could do some snake education and show the difference between non-venomous and venomous snakes. People move here from different countries and other states and have no idea what wildlife exists in this county. The Chamber of Commerce, Realtor's Association and other organizations could be proactive and have something on their websites about our wildlife and perhaps info could be passed out to those visiting and living here. There is so much this county can do but many people just don't care for snakes and the end result is now we have a huge gopher problem. It is not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Does the Parks Department realize that if you blow up the gopher holes and gophers that you will also be blowing up the different species of snakes that inhabit gopher holes?

Please honor the Comprehensive Plan that states we will protect our wildlife. Many people spent long hours at these meetings in the early 2000s making sure that our wildlife including snakes, were protected in this county.

It has been said...

The Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to earth...

All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family...

Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

If you don't want snakes on your property or you think you might have a rattlesnake, please contact the police dispatcher at 662-8222. Killing snakes is not the right thing to do. Thank you.

Jan Macek

Los Alamos