Elk hazing upsets
protects trees by hazing elk
Express Staff Writer
prevent elk from eating ornamental vegetation near Greenhorn Gulch are
upsetting several of the areaís residents.
Greenhorn Gulch have been on the run recently, as employees from
Golden Eagle I and II ride snowmobiles and shine spotlights to scare the
animals away from the subdivisionís expensive vegetation. Express
photo: David N. Selig
working for Harry Rinker, developer of Golden Eagle I and II, have been
chasing elk using snowmobiles and spotlights since mid-December. Itís an
action approved by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Mr. Rinker was planning on subdividing, private interests (including
Rinker) continued to feed elk up there against our recommendation, with
the foresight that it would lead to problems with the absolutely fantastic
landscaping, and the expense theyíve gone through to make it what it
is," said Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Manager Randy Smith.
are still searching the valley bottom near Timber Gulch for the feed site,
and theyíre finding Rinkerís handsome ornamental vegetation.
of those cows are fairly long lived, and they can remember where they can
get a handout," Smith said. "It wasnít our preference to have
those elk fed, but it was okay with us to have them moved off the private
land. The idea of moving the elk and hazing the elk off of private
property was in line with what we said."
Parrish, Fish and Gameís regional supervisor, added that hazing efforts
are subject to certain conditions. Rinker is not allowed to haze the
animals off his property. He is not allowed to "push the herd, and he
must use gentle persuasion to minimize the stress on the animals."
Singleton, a Golden Eagle I resident, is a member of the Greenhorn areaís
pro elk camp. In fact, she said she moved there, in part, to view the
large ungulates and has offered her yard to the elk as a safe haven from
the hazing efforts.
doesnít Harry Rinker put elk guards around his trees? I donít
know," she said. "All of a sudden he puts all these ornamental
trees out here, and he doesnít expect the elk to be here any more."
acknowledged that fencing would be the most "full-proof" means
of protecting the areaís vegetation.
are prepared to ask Harry to wrap individual trees," Parrish said.
"If the snow gets deep and it gets very cold. So, if natural forage
is limited, and we feel that natural stress on the elk will be harmful, weíll
ask him to wrap individual trees."
Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rickies Kaz Thea was upset about the
the weekend (two weeks ago), I personally witnessed the elk being chased
by snowmobile from the large ornamentals, planted practically overnight,
that are part of Harry Rinkerís Golden Eagle II developmentÖ.Itís
really twisted how we value remote living, close to nature and yet when
nature gets close, we chase it away."
you donít want the damage, donít live in the woods," she said.
"If you want to live in a city, go back."
and Singleton stressed that hazing elk off of private property goes
against Fish and Gameís own general recommendations for dealing with
wildlife during winter, when wild animals often need summer fat stores to
survive until spring.
addressed a larger issue.
need to improve habitat up there for elk on their winter range," he
said. "We need to concentrate on improving their native range, so we
can get them off of the subdivisions and away from people feeding
the winter habitat just above the valley floor near Timber Gulch is quite
good, and there shouldnít be a reason the elk canít survive the winter
reach Rinker for comment were unsuccessful.