Putting the 'cow' back in 'cow-town'

 

Thank you so much for the excellent article on poultry slaughterhouses and the local food movement (HCN, 1/24/11). In Denver, Colo., we are trying to remove the disincentives to backyard agriculture that the city and county adopted several decades ago when they successfully transformed Denver from a cow town into a culture-rich city. Now that Denver is a modern city, we would like to participate more enthusiastically in the local food movement by removing prohibitive measures that discourage backyard chicken keeping. At the moment, a petition is circulating to put an initiative on the city/county ballot that would eliminate the high fees ($150 initially and $70 a year thereafter) and inspections for keeping six chickens on your own property. The map of chicken-friendly cities is extremely helpful in showing voters and city officials how we are doing relative to the Rocky Mountain region, so they can make more informed decisions about whether or not to support backyard chickens and other local food measures here.

Paula VanDusen
Denver, Colorado