Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sagewillow elk feeders strike again

Police say suspect likely won?t be charged

Express Staff Writer

Someone fed the elk again near The Community School campus at Sagewillow in Elkhorn. This time police have a suspect—an Elkhorn woman who won't likely be charged because she didn't feed the elk on school property.

"It's not illegal to feed, it's just illegal to trespass," said Sun Valley Police Chief Cameron Daggett. "And if they have permission, then we have no problem."

The latest elk-feeding caper took place on Thursday, Feb. 6, at about 4 p.m. The Sun Valley Police Department received a call from a caretaker at the school campus who reported that several people were leaving feed pellets in a driveway on Arrowleaf Drive near the entrance to the campus. The caretaker got a license plate number and police contacted the vehicle owner.

"She said they have permission to do that," Daggett said. "We're in the process of confirming that."

Daggett said he doesn't know if the latest elk feeders are the same ones who fed elk bales of hay on Community School property on at least two occasions in February.

"They've switched to pellets, so we don't know if they're the hay people," he said. 'Pellets are better for the elk anyway."

A herd of about 55 elk has been hanging around the area much of this winter, perhaps anticipating the free feedings they used to receive from The Community School. That practice was discontinued in December after the Sagewillow Homeowners Association filed a lawsuit against the school claiming that the elk were causing "collateral" damage to their property.

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