Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain will be closed to the public Monday through Wednesday from September 11, 2017, through January 31, 2018, to allow hunting. Only two hunters with access passes will be allowed on the property during that time. The two hunters will also be permitted on Indian Mountain, which is closed to the public, for the entire week (Monday – Sunday).
It has been decided that for this year, only hunters that possess a valid Rabbit Mountain Sub-unit GMU 20 tag (Hunt Code E-F-020-L3-R) and are 18-years-old or older will be eligible for a random lottery draw to hunt on Rabbit Mountain. All hunters who draw a Rabbit Mountain Access Permit will be required to attend a shooting proficiency test and onsite orientation.
Boulder County staff will provide regular updates in public meetings to the Board of County Commissioners and posted on this page. The county will evaluate the elk management plan every year and will announce the plan for next year before the CPW license draw in early April for the 2018-2019 hunting season.
Decision by the Board of County Commissioners
Staff presented the draft plan and Memo to the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, June 20. The hearing lasted for more than three hours and included about two dozen speakers. In addition, public comments were accepted in written form prior to the public hearing.
The Boulder County Commissioners gave approval to staff to move forward in working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a plan for Rabbit Mountain Open Space for the purpose of wildlife and vegetation management that includes limited elk hunting for this fall season (and up to two additional years), with a request to staff to come back to the board in August of this year (prior to the hunting season) with more details and/or clarification on specific pieces of the management plan, to include:
- Elk hazing plan
- Public communications coordination plan
- Data collection plan
- Fencing plan
- Annual review process and periodic updates to understand adaptations being made to the management plan
In summary, while the board will allow limited hunting to take place this fall based on the immediate need to address elk-related damage to the sensitive surrounding ecosystem and the size of the herd, the commissioners’ approval of hunting female (cow) elk in the Rabbit Mountain herd does not amount to creation of a new policy of allowing recreational hunting on Boulder County open space properties.
Final Plan Approval
Amendments for the final plan approval will be presented to the commissioners on August 22 at 11 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in Boulder. No public comment will be accepted at this public meeting.