Celestial Seasonings apologizes for poisoning prairie dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1999:

BOULDER, Colorado– – Caught
poisoning prairie dogs on its 35-acre plant
site in the Gunbarrel, Colorado, a suburb of
Boulder, the tea maker Celestial Seasonings
endured two weeks of intense e-mail protest
before doing an about-face on May 27.
Wrote Celestial Seasonings president
and CEO Steve Hughes, “The response
we have received from the community,
consumers, our neighbors, and wildlife
advocates has been both overwhelming and
justified. The extent of this response, however,
has paled in comparison to the disappointment
expressed by the passionate and
dedicated employees of Celestial
Seasonings. I am deeply sorry…This is an
act that Celestial Seasonings should not have
done, and will not be involved with from

this point forward.”

An accompanying action plan stated
the Celestial Seasonings will “limit
prairie dog colony management to relocation
within property boundaries; meet with environmental
and wildlife organizations to hear
their concerns first-hand and ask their help
to develop our strategy for co-existence with
the prairie dog colony; explore the potential
for some relocation of prairie dogs to our
property; in anticipation of facility expansion,
create a buffer zone with minimal
impact on the existing habitat; ensure that
the colony is protected during all activities;
include education regarding the value and
plight of prairie dog ecosystems in our company
tour and consumer relations efforts;
[and] establish the Celestial Seasonings
Environmental Grant Program,” which will
distribute $50,000 per year among local
environmental and wildlife organizations, to
be selected by a vote among staff.
Prairie dogs got another belated
break on May 28, when the U.S. Forest
Service announced it would stop poisoning
prairie dogs, as requested on April 19 by the
National Wildlife Federation. NWF earlier
asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
list prairie dogs as a threatened species,
since they now occupy less than 1% of the
habitat they held in 1900.
But NWF, the umbrella for 48
state hunting clubs, still has not responded
to ANIMAL PEOPLE’s inquiry of August
1, 1998 as to whether it has asked its state
affiliates to request that their membership
refrain from shooting prairie dogs.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.