Boulder County commissioners sign off on extending elk management plans for three years

Boulder County commissioners sign off on extending elk management plans for three years

Boulder County Commissioners on Thursday unanimously authorized extending two elk management plans for three additional a long time to carry on lessening the number of elk in the two the Rabbit Mountain and Purple Hill herds.

“I don’t imagine the public would assist searching on Rabbit Mountain Open Place if it was not aiding us get manage of the herd,” explained Commissioner Claire Levy. “Since it is working, I believe it is an successful plan, and we should to keep on it.”

Each Boulder County elk administration ideas will now past by means of the 2024-2025 hunting time. The acceptance on Thursday also aligned the assessment dates for both of those ideas. Previously, they had been the two renewed on independent a long time due to the fact they both of those experienced diverse renewal dates.

The improvements to the system stick to a recommendation created by the Boulder County Parks & Open up Place Advisory Committee through a January conference.

In 2017, the county started its first elk management strategy aimed at lessening the size of the herd at Rabbit Mountain. Searching elk at Rabbit Mountain, in advance of an modification past yr, was restricted to selected qualities and decide on hunters employing only short-variety weapons with stringent enforcement to secure private landowners in the place.

Thanks to focused searching on the land, the herd’s population dimensions has been diminished from 365 elk to a large number of 73, which was counted in November and December, according to the staff members report. This quantity is nonetheless previously mentioned the aim of 30 non-migrating elk and 70 migrating, mentioned Jonathan DeCoste, Boulder County elk management coordinator, in the course of Thursday’s meeting.

“We have noticed the elk quantities steadily drop,” he said. “We are receiving nearer to the plan targets, but we are however outdoors the plan goals.”

In 2020, a unique herd of elk regarded as the Pink Hill herd, which ranges by way of the Heil Valley Ranch area down and across U.S. 36 around Nelson Street in between Boulder and Lyons, commenced destroying natural vegetation in the space. The county at that time approved looking for that herd, which permitted focused hazing in the course of peak migratory durations, and coordinated looking with adjacent landowners on both equally non-public land and tenants of county open up place agricultural attributes.

Even though decide on hunters are now authorized on county-owned agricultural land for the two herds, a lot more do the job wants to be performed to meet up with the county’s goals, DeCoste stated.

The Crimson Hill herd experienced a high count of 89 elk in the course of the summer months, which is down from the calendar year prior, DeCoste mentioned. In December, the herd experienced a higher rely of 336 elk, but the county’s goal is to retain a migrating elk herd with no more than 25 non-migrating elk in the summer time.

“Hunting is just one tool we have, but there are a ton of other elk administration troubles and duties that need to be carried out outside of the hunt,” DeCoste said. “Hunting is the largest a single and the one that requires up the most time.”