Outdoors blog

Idaho's first elk preserve created in 1909

JACKSON, WYOMING -- Elk, part of a herd of more than 1,600, make their way through blowing snow at the National Elk Refuge outside Jackson Hole, Wyo., where, for 90 years, elk coming down from the high country for the winter, have gathered where they are fed through the season. Almost 8,000 elk in three herds, fed alfalfa pellets daily in the coldest months, start arriving in mid-October from the surrounding high country. Tourists can reach the herd by horse-drawn sleigh. (Michael Kodas / Associated Press)
JACKSON, WYOMING -- Elk, part of a herd of more than 1,600, make their way through blowing snow at the National Elk Refuge outside Jackson Hole, Wyo., where, for 90 years, elk coming down from the high country for the winter, have gathered where they are fed through the season. Almost 8,000 elk in three herds, fed alfalfa pellets daily in the coldest months, start arriving in mid-October from the surrounding high country. Tourists can reach the herd by horse-drawn sleigh. (Michael Kodas / Associated Press)

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.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

Follow Rich online:







Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801