WILDLIFE -- About 107,000 elk roam in Idaho today, a stark contrast to a century ago when elk numbers were so low officials had to declare a moratorium on elk hunting in parts of the state.
In 1909, concerned about the decline in elk, deer and game birds, Boise National Forest Supervisor Emile Grandjean asked the State Legislature to establish a 220,000-acre game preserve in the Payette River drainage west of the Sawtooth Mountains.
The Legislature approved the preserve on March 13, 1909, and it became the first of many game preserves especially designed to restore wildlife to Idaho.
It would be off-limits to hunting and trapping – except that cougars, lynx, wolves and coyotes could be killed by wardens. Forest rangers would act as deputy game wardens.
Read more about game preserves and fish and wildlife management efforts in the series of stories marking the Idaho Fish and Game Department's 75th anniversary.