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April 19, 2017

Rabbit Mountain Elk Management Plan POSAC Hearing April 27

Online speaker signup for public testimony begins Thursday, April 20, at noon

Boulder County, Colo. - The Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) will hear a presentation of the Draft Rabbit Mountain Elk Management Plan: 2017-2027, which includes a recommendation for limited public hunting. The POSAC meeting will be held at the Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., Third Floor, in Boulder.


The draft plan can be reviewed at www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/elkmanagement. Written public comment for consideration by POSAC and staff can be submitted in writing at the Rabbit Mountain Elk Management webpage through April 26.


Online sign-ups for members of the public seeking to speak in-person at the hearing on April 27 will begin Thursday, April 20, at noon on the POSAC webpage, www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/posac.

All sign-ups will be placed in order based on the time they are received. Limit three minutes per speaker. Pooled time is also available up to 10 minutes. Those wishing to sign up for pooled time will need to include the names and addresses for anyone donating time to the pool, and those members must be present at the hearing when the group is scheduled to speak.

The list of speakers will be available on the POSAC webpage the mornings of April 26 and April 27 for reference and planning purposes. The final list of speakers will be posted at 3 p.m. on April 27.

In-person sign-ups will also be taken at the meeting, but will be placed at the end of the speaker list following online sign-ups.


The Rabbit Mountain elk population has grown exponentially in the past several years. It appears the elk have learned to avoid hunters by 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, alternative crops, and other efforts to restore damaged habitats.

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