LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder County officials have approved a plan to hunt elk in a northern part of the county.
It’s the first time in county history that hunting will be allowed on any open space land.
The limited hunting is set to take place this fall at Rabbit Mountain Open Space at 55th and Dakota Ridge Road. Wildlife officials say there are more than 350 elk in a growing herd there and that the high number of elk are damaging the ecosystem.
Elk typically migrate, but officials say the elk in this herd have come to realize Rabbit Mountain is a refuge from hunters so they’ve stayed in the vicinity.
The plan was initially for two hunters a week to be allowed to hunt the elk every fall for 10 years, but at a meeting Tuesday night the county said they’ll just start with limited elk hunting only this fall.
Opponents of the idea say the plan will displace trail users in the open space.
Suzanne Webel told CBS4 before Tuesday night’s meeting she thinks that if the growing elk herd is being viewed as an emergency situation, the county should just bring in sharpshooters.
“This plan is proposing to close the park at the best time year when everybody wants to go there,” she said.