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News Archive

March 22, 2017

Media Contact
Vivienne Jannatpour, (303) 678-6277

Parks & Open Space Hosts Open House April 6 – Draft Rabbit Mountain Elk Management Plan

Boulder County Staff seeks public comment on limited hunting at Rabbit Mountain Open Space

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County Parks & Open Space Staff will host an open house on Thursday, April 6 to present—and take public comment on—the draft Rabbit Mountain Elk Management Plan: 2017-2027.

What: Open House
When: Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Parks & Open Space building, 5201 St. Vrain Road, Longmont

The staff presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

The plan is available for review on www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/elkmanagement. Public comment can be submitted at the open house and online anytime now through April 26. Additional opportunities for public comment will be available at the Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee meeting on April 27 and at a Board of County Commissioners hearing to be scheduled in May or June.

The Rabbit Mountain elk population has grown exponentially in the past several years. It appears the elk have learned to avoid hunters by not migrating, and instead staying on or around Rabbit Mountain year-round and taking advantage of neighboring agricultural fields.

Because this elk herd has stopped migrating, they are reproducing more rapidly and causing extensive damage to the highly diverse native plants and wildlife habitat of Rabbit Mountain. According to a Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2009 Report, Rabbit Mountain is one of only two foothills areas rated B1: Outstanding Biodiversity Significance. Rabbit Mountain and Red Hill south of the Town of Lyons are the only areas in Boulder County rated B1, where foothill shrublands contribute significantly to the vegetation mosaic on the landscape.

In addition, the elk have caused substantial and increasing damage to neighboring residential fences, landscaping, and agricultural crops.

After careful consideration of many options and techniques in consultation with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Parks & Open Space staff believes it is imperative to re-establish seasonal migration in this elk herd.

Staff experts believe the most appropriate method to achieve this goal is by allowing limited hunting on county-owned Rabbit Mountain Open Space as part of the state’s existing subunit surrounding the open space property during the state’s regulated hunting season.

If approved, hunting would be combined with other efforts that address the resource and private land damage concerns. These may include limited fencing, hazing, possible alternative crops, and other efforts to restore damaged habitats.

To review the draft plan and submit public comment, please go to www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/elkmanagement.

For more information, contact Therese Glowacki, Resource Management Division Manager, at tglowacki@bouldercounty.org, or 303-678-6206.