Prairie dogs poke their heads into the top tier of strategy areas to be considered by Boulder officials in the final version of the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks master plan that will finally make its way to city council next month.

The draft was approved three weeks ago by open space trustees and the city’s planning board, but since then has received a few tweaks before being unveiled Thursday in the form in which it will go to council members on Sept. 3 to be formally adopted.

The first master plan the open space department has ever had, it weighs in at a tidy 221 pages, and the executive summary alone runs 28 pages.

“The major change (between the previous version and the final iteration) is that the strategy calling for us to address conflicts between prairie dogs and irrigated agricultural lands was moved up to a top strategy of ours, and now 10 of those are in the highest-priority strategies,” said Dan Burke, interim department director. “That was a significant refinement, or change, that was made.”

Beyond that, Burke said, “I would characterize (the finalized version) as minor refinements to the language of the strategic statements. There was a call to provide more supporting text underneath, to the strategic statements being put forth in the document. There was a call for more graphics, trends and data, to support the context and to support the language that’s in the plan.”

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