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February 21, 2020

Media Contact
Vivienne Jannatpour, (303) 678-6277

Red Hill and Rabbit Mountain elk herd management plan drafts released for public review.

Public comment accepted online and at two upcoming public hearings.

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County Parks & Open Space has released the draft "Red Hill Elk Management Plan" and the "Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain Elk and Vegetation Management Plan (2017-2020) – Addendum" for public review and comment.

Parks & Open Space staff will host two public hearings to review the draft plans and hear public comment. Public comments will be accepted at the meetings and online. The plans and comment forms can be found at

Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee
Thursday, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m.
Boulder County Courthouse – Commissioners’ Hearing Room
1325 Pearl Street, Boulder

Board of County Commissioners
Monday, March 30, 4:30 p.m.
Boulder County Courthouse – Commissioners’ Hearing Room
1325 Pearl Street, Boulder

The Red Hill elk herd makes use of county-owned properties closed to the public on either side of US 36 between Heil Valley Ranch and Table Mountain. The area has been historically utilized by the herd during fall and winter after migrating down from its summer range at higher elevations. However, a growing number of elk has recently stopped migrating and now spends the summer at low elevation on county-owned properties and the Table Mountain area. The elk herd’s rapid population growth has the potential to cause extensive damage to the highly diverse native plants and wildlife habitat of this area. Additionally, this area has been noted as a dangerous highway elk crossing by the Colorado Department of Transportation with numerous vehicle-wildlife collisions.

The Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain Elk & Vegetation Management Plan was approved in 2017 to allow controlled hunting at Ron Stewart Preserve through January 2020. The plan has worked to reduce the number of elk and discourage use of Ron Stewart Preserve, but there are more elk on the open space property than called for in the plan. Staff would like to extend the plan until management goals are met.

For more information please visit or contact Wildlife Biologist Dave Hoerath at or 303-678-6204.

Elk herd along Rabbit Mountain Open Space