HOMEOWNER  REMINDER                                                    

            Image result for japanese yew berries poisonous 

    Local landscape cultivar kill wildlife                     Japanese Yews are Toxic                       Remove & Dispose Or Cover Securely

   Last winter a combined one hundred one elk, deer and antelope died from ingesting, ornamental Japanese Yews located in residential  landscapes. Heavy snowfalls, extensive freezing temperatures and fire damaged habitat drove elk  deer and antelope to seek shelter in lower elevations along the Boise River Corridor. Residential development that indiscreetly planted ornamental yews led to the many elk and deer fatalities. 

The river corridor once winter range for wildlife is now populated  with residential development. Unfortunately before last winter, and to the detriment of wildlife, most homeowners were unaware that the Japanese Yew was toxic. Following the wildlife deaths many  homeowners took prudent steps and removed any Japanese Yew from landscaping to prevent poisoning. During winter months the plant holds the highest concentration of toxicity and most mammals can die from ingesting only a small amount of needles.

Kindly check your yard for Japanese Yew and related varieties of the species. If you have Japanese Yew in your yard  please consider immediate removal and replacement with non-toxic plants. If you cannot remove the Japanese yew before winter arrives please fully wrap and completely cover the Japanese yew with heavy burlap securing wrap to the ground level.  Monitor the plant wrapping daily to be certain that wildlife have not torn through the burlap during the winter months, when food sources are scarce. See available video to help you  identify Japanese Yew.     

        ...  Video to the right                                                     Image result for small arrows pointing to the right Related image

  Blaine County Public Outreach Flyer after county ban on Japanese Yew


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- Home Depot –  3639 E Federal Way, Boise  (208) 388-8500 - Call ahead for in-store pick-up – Sku Number 3466783-Foot x 24-Foot rolls - $10.27/roll (40 rolls currently in stock)

- Home Depot – 1200 Milwaukee Street, Boise (208) 375-1886 - Call ahead for in-store pick-up – Sku Number 3466783-Foot x 24-Foot rolls - $10.27/roll (31 rolls currently in stock)

- Thriftway Home Center – Ace True Value - 4705 W. State St., Boise (208) 342-1668 No burlap but 9-foot x 12-foot 10oz canvas painter’s drop clothes available, $27.99/each

- Thriftway Home Center – Ace True Value - 2050 Broadway Ave., Boise (208) 336-7330No burlap but 9-foot x 12-foot 10oz canvas painter’s drop clothes available, $27.99/each

- Lowes, Boise – No burlap in stock until spring – canvas painter’s drop clothes available

- D & B Supply Store, Garden City – No burlap in stock until  next spring                    



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                                   First Snow December 3, 2107 

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              101 Idaho elk, mule deer and antelope                                         deaths from eating Japanese Yew               


to identify Japanese Yew & relatives                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
        MORE   PICTURES   BELOW          HELP  HOMEOWNERS  IDENTIFY                         JAPANESE  YEW (Taxus cuspidata)
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Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata) is a non-native cultivar evergreen plant with flat rather than the round leaves of other conifers. Dubbed the "tree of death" by Cornell University, all species of Taxus are toxic. The newer growth is pale green in color typically found on the underside. The red berry belongs to female plants whose seed is poisonous when broken. Deer shown below in a natural winter habitat reveals a stark contrast in comparison with the landscaped cultivar of yews. Wildlife fatalities that occurred from consumption of the toxic plant last winter raised  public awareness to an all time high and changed Idaho consumer buying patterns.






Top of yew needles are darker and underside are lighter.

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 l a y e r
  N e w
 l a y e r
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                        WINTER 2017: Elk In Record Heavy SnowfallImage result for japanese yew berries poisonous

                     A Very Special "thank you"  to all forty-four members that                                         Joined us for ... "THE WINTER STORYwildlife on the Boise Front                        Thursday, November 9, 2017  6:30-8:00 PM  at Bown Crossing Library                                                                   RSVP:44                                                                                   

  All photos are courtesy & linked to source                                                                                                                                         



foothills 101...bringing back the foothillsImage result for drawings of boise foothillsRelated imageImage result for sagebrush steppe
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Image result for bitterbrush steppe              Watch this video  of before and after  conditions of the 2016 Table Rock Wildfire. 


Then watch the process as volunteers work to restore habitat with native vegetation

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  The 2016 summer wildfire that burned Table Rock and the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (BRWMA) was a dynamic force that change the face of the foothills. The foothills are home to residential deer and elk that migrate to the lower elevations of  the BRWMA for winter. The BRWMA provides winter range for migration herds as well as habitat for a variety of wildlife year round. While the fire resulted in the loss of habitat, there is opportunity to re-establish foundation plantings and ward off proliferation of cheat grass.  To restore a healthful foothills habitat requires volunteer work for many years to come. Please consider joining ecologist, Mike Pellant and other volunteers gathering  sagebrush seeds this year. You can be part of a legacy working to restore foothills habitat. Day trips for seed harvest  are determined by weather and are slated for  December 9th.  Please register to volunteer:  info@hrwma.org    

Image result for bitterbrush in idaho                                                              SAGEBRUSH (Artemisia tridentata)  one of two main                                                  foundation plantings for  habitat in the Boise Foothills

Sagebrush is a native shrub and a primary food source that serves as a foundation for wildlife habitat. Although sagebrush provides winter nutrition for deer and elk, the desert sage grouse relies almost exclusively on the shrub for food year round. These desert shrubs commonly reach maturity between 2 and 4 feet tall, but heights can be found taller in areas with high level of precipitation. Aromatic blooms comes in late summer or early fall, and the foothills are dappled with the conspicuous golden yellow flower. Sagebrush is defined by a sharp odor, especially after rain. Or get a whiff up close when the leaves are crushed and rubbed between your fingers. The deep taproot makes the sagebrush capable of  drought tolerance, and the gnarl twisted trunks indicate endurance. As tough as the sagebrush look  the shrub requires help re-establishing  after fire. Re- growth is often problematic in the rising  heat of the desert without adequate rainfall. It is estimated that 50% of the sagebrush steppe has diminished over the last fifty years and volunteer effort to re-establish plantings  is an  essential step to minimize the impact of the table rock fire on local wildlife habitat.  

                                               BITTERBRUSH  (Purshia tridentata)  another foundation                                                   planting for habitat in the Boise Foothills  

Bitterbrush like sage brush is another staple food source for wildlife and the other foundation shrub of the foothills. Another native to the steppe, this shrub  was once quite common across the Boise foothills. It is easily recognized by its broad reaching branches. Mature bitterbrush can have heights of 6 to 15 feet tall with a width of 4 to 6 feet.  It produces fragrant, small, bright yellow flowers in the spring. Top sides of the three lobed leaves are bright to olive green and the undersides are whitish colored due to soft white hairs. Bitterbrush packs a lot of nutrition with a high protein content during the winter months. This makes it the “go to” plant for mule deer when snow covers other native food sources. Deer more delicate in statue than elk are unable to successfully dig into the snow and find food source as readily, and rely heavily on bitterbrush for winter forage.                


Be a part of the working legacy restore the foothills habitat...                                                                                                              

Volunteers begin restoration of foothills foundation vegetation of sagebrush and bitterbrush by planting seedlings on post wildfire grounds




 Harris Ranch continues growing and becoming  a thriving residential community. It is thriving with humans, and surrounded with wildlife. Those lands setting around Harris Ranch are an important home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Our mission is to preserve this habitat. In the past, wildlife once used Harris Ranch property as a migration corridor. These  animals still call the surrounding lands home. The land is  also home to a rich variety of flora.  Many plants are unique to Idaho and preserving the habitat is vital to the continued survival of wildlife. 

  In an effort to ensure the survival of flora and fauna, the HRWMA encourages people to respect this important habitat. When hiking in the Foothills or along the Boise River, stay on designated trails to avoid interaction with wildlife and to protect plants.  Please keep this in mind as you enjoy the Boise foothills.

TRAIL INFO & TIPS:The popular Homestead Trail - part of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (BRWMA) - is once again open for careful  use by foothills recreationists. The trail was closed for some time after the 2016 Table Rock wildfire burned more than 2,500 acres, and another 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat on the BRWMA. Be aware that due to damaged habitat, winter closure may very well occur on the BRWMA for wildlife protection. To afford the greatest protection for wildlife in any season, always have dogs leashed. Dogs chasing wildlife is a known cause of wildlife mortality  particularly in winter. Please be mindful and honor the sacred beauty of wildlife in our community. 

All photos courtesy & linked to source



Image result for gathering sagebrush seed in idaho Image result for dogs on leash in wild areasSteppe Habitat In Boise Foothills

Image result for big basin sagebrush Image result for Harris Ranch Boise Idaho Photographs in AutumnImage result for Harris Ranch Boise Idaho Photographs in Autumn Image result for elk or mule deer in Boise River Wildlife Management Area Collect Sage Brush Seeds with us coming in December 
                  REGISTER: info@hrwma.org Image result for volunteers planting sagebrush Idaho Image result for elk or mule deer in Boise River Wildlife Management Area Related image Image result for mule deer eating bitterbrush in idahoSEE HARRIS RANCH WEATHER AT WEATHERLINK NETWORK OR WEATHER UNDERGROUND Image result for sagebrush yellow flowers Related image Related image

Conservation Education Events

    • 06/08/2017
    • 07/29/2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Near Intersection of Highway 21 and Warm Springs Ave.


                  Boise River 
Songbird Banding

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     Boise River Songbird BandingFree Event, Space Limited, Get    Ticket at link Below

    Date: Pick your Date: June 8th, June 18th, June 29th, July 8th, July 22nd, July 29th

    Time: 6:40 am to 11:30 am
    Location: Near Intersection of Highway 21 & Warm Springs Ave
    Join the Intermountain Bird Observatory Crew for a morning of songbird banding at our beautiful Boise River Site near the intersection of Warm Springs Ave. & Highway 21! We'll catch, band & release wild songbirds all forming as par of our standardized breeding season monitoring.

    Please register for FREE tickets on eventbrite & to get more details about this event. You do not need to attend all of the dates.
    Click Here to Get Your Tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boise-river-songbird-banding-tickets-33228239559

    Location: The Boise River Intermountain Bird Observatory is located near the intersection of Warm Springs Avenue and the Highway 21 bridge, on the north side of the river, starting near the Diversion Dam and continuing over 1 mile downstream. The banding station is located on the south end of the property just upstream of the highway 21 bridge.

                     MAPS & DRIVING DIRECTIONS: 

       Directions to the banding station:

    Approaching from Warm Springs Ave: From where Warm Springs Ave makes a T with Highway 21, drive straight across highway 21 (heading southwest) onto the gravel access road. Drive down toward the greenbelt (past chain link fenced area and “no access” signs) to reach the parking area. 

    Cars may park in the gravel parking area by the old dam turbine (red star on the map). Walk across the greenbelt and around the gates (there will be a “bird banding today” sign). Follow the access road (orange on the map) down to the banding station (marked in purple). If parking is full, use the overflow parking area off of Warm Springs Ave. marked in green. Walk down the greenbelt to the orange access road.

    • There is Poison Ivy here! Please stay on trails until you have talked to IBO staff about the location of poison ivy patches.
    • There are no restrooms on site. The nearest facilities are a 4 minute drive from the site, at Discovery State Park. We recommend a visit to Discovery before you come to see us :)
    • This site is handicap accessible (vehicle access to banding station). Email us for more information: IBO@boisestate.edu


    • 10/01/2017
    • 04/30/2018

                     North America's Winter Feeder Watch

    Check out the website for learning activities:

    Boise Birds Field Guide: https://parks.cityofboise.org/media/1115563/field-guide-to-boises-birds-101415.pdf

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       REGISTER ON-LINE & BE AN EARLY BIRD!! AIM              FOR OCTOBER1st!! http://feederwatch.org/

      ~Start learning  now about the program and sign up early so you do not miss out! Join others across North America and help count the winter birds! Learn from your own backyard just what birds call Boise their winter home.

    Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.

    Anyone interested in birds can participate! FeederWatch is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds, including children, families, individuals, classrooms, retired persons, youth groups, nature centers, and bird clubs. You can count birds as often as every week, or as infrequently as you like: the schedule is completely flexible. All you need is a bird feeder, bird bath, or plantings that attract birds.

    New participants are sent a Research Kit with complete instructions for participating, as well as a bird identification poster and more. You provide the feeder(s) and seed. Then each fall participants receive our 16-page, year-end report, Winter Bird Highlights. Participants also receive access to the digital version of Living Bird, the Cornell Lab’s award-winning, quarterly magazine.

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    There is a $18 annual participation fee for U.S. residents ($15 for Cornell Lab members). Canadians can participate by joining Bird Studies Canada for CAN$35. The participation fee covers materials, staff support, web design, data analysis, and the year-end report (Winter Bird Highlights). Project FeederWatch is supported almost entirely by participation fees. Without the support of our participants, this project wouldn’t be possible. ~

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    • 12/21/2017
    • 12:00 AM
    • 03/21/2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Harris Ranch and surrounding Foothills
    Registration is closed



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                         Image result for images of composition notebooks clipart                                                                                              
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    Wildlife Sighting Scoreboard Class  I SPY...   track of the time, date, place what kind of wildlife, how many & conditions


          Class Schedule:  December 21, 2017- March 21, 2018


    Over 7,000 mule deer winter in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area, adjacent to Harris Ranch development. View this 4-minute video on deer migration in Wyoming; the deer in the Boise Foothills migrate similar distances from their summer range.


      Long-Billed Curlew

    The long-billed curlew is the largest sandpiper in North America. Adults have a very long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head; the female has a much longer bill than the male. Read more.



    The pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere -
    it can run 35 mph
    for 4 miles; 42 mph for 1 mile; and 55 mph for half a mile!  It is often cited as the second-fastest land animal, second only to the cheetah.



    At Harris Ranch, amphibians can likely be found along or near the Boise River, the artificial trout spawning stream, in wetland areas, and along or near canals. Although generally associated with wet areas, some amphibian species can range quite a distance from a given water source. For those species the much of the total Harris Ranch property may be important habitat


    Elk seem to prefer mountainous country with mixed open, Image result for idfg raccoon images
    grassy meadows, marshy meadows, 
    river flats, aspen
    parkland, as well as coniferous forests, brushy clearcuts,
    forest edges, and shrub steppe. Some populations live
    year-round in sagebrush desert, using grass-shrub for 
    feeding and tall shrub  or pole timber for resting in spring. 


       Great Blue Heron

    Great blue herons (Ardea herodias) can be found on freshwater http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3349/3206832143_892016d9c6_o.jpg
    and brackish marshes, along lakes, rivers, bays, lagoons,
     ocean beaches, fields, and meadows. In Idaho, the species follows major watercourses. Herons build their nests in trees, sometimes in shrubs, and rarely on the ground. They nests in colonies (or rookeries). Colony size can vary from few pairs to hundreds of pairs; a colony may be displaced by Bald Eagles.  







                  All photos: Courtesy of Idaho Department of Fish & Game

    Wintering Wildlife Scoreboard Class
     Wildlife Sightings
     Wildlife Sightings 

    • 04/02/2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

                       Evening Lecture Birding by Ear                                                     Image result for images of birding by ear                                          

                  Enjoy a learning style Lecture                                               at MK NATURE CENTER                                                            600 S. WALNUT STREET

              Hosted By sAGEBRUSH-STEPPE CHAPTER                          OF IDAHO MASTER NATURALISTS                                & IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME                       

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                                   For more information:                                               https://idfg.idaho.gov/ event/ evening-lecture-series-bird ing-sound
    • 04/14/2018
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Road

         Foothills Family Days Saturday - April 14th

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      Puddles and Rain Clouds!

    Spring brings rain and snowmelt, and life anew to our foothills. Join the educators at Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center to explore what is  in the clouds and the importance of our trickling streams and small ponds to the Boise ecosystem!  We'll have cloud-in-a-jar demonstrations, then cloud  identification, some amphibians to look at (that live in puddles!), and a spring  scavenger hunt. 

    You can even make your own rain cloud mobile. Bring your family and friends!this free, family friendly, program with activities, crafts, and interpretive stations. Come and go as you please. You are even welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy our backyard!  RSVP:info@hrwma.org.

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    • 04/26/2018
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Bown Crossing Library - Matrie Brennen Room

                                                 Native Plants of the Foothills Lecture      

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                  Enjoy a learning style Lecture                                         at bown crossing  lIBRARY                                                 THURSDAY, APRIL 26                                                                    FROM 6 TO 7:30 pM                                      

    • 04/29/2018
    • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • 2153 E. Riverwalk Dr. Boise, Idaho 83702

         Birding on the Bethanie Sunday April 29th                                 

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                         Birding on the Bethine and Litter Patrol

      A Sunday morning activity:  Park at the Greenbelt parking area, SE of the Bown Crossing Library. Then we’ll walk the Bethine Church Nature Trail going downriver, birding as we go, then pick up whatever bits of litter we find on the way back. Birds abound in the pond river and riparian wooded habitat. We usually finish around noon. 

    Bring water, binocs and a plastic grocery bag, in case trash is discovered, it’s usually minimal, No public restrooms are available.      

                  To register contact:

             Alex Takasugi: geasfieldtrips@gmail.com or call  (208) 484-9132

    • 05/03/2018
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Bown Crossing Library- Martie Brennen Room


                      BOISE~TRAILS HISTORY & ETIQUETTE 


               Instructor John Caywood presents: 

    • Origin of local trail systems in Boise Foothills
    • Conservation -vs- Recreation  the Trade offs
    • NGO, City, County & Federal roles -- Local trails- who does what
    •  Trail design, construction, maintenance & the importance of                   proper use and etiquette 

      Image courtesy of: http://www.tahoe-homes.com

    • 06/07/2018
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Barber Park Event Center


                                 HRWMA Annual Meeting & BBQ thursday June 7, 2018 6 to 8 pm

                                         Register NoW                                                        for this ANNUAL Member event!

                         Join your board members                                                           For a bbq dinner  

                      Learn about HRWMA projects                                           and Citizen scientists!                                                        meet your neighbors                                                             Share your ideas! 

Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created to implement the Harris Ranch Wildlife Impact Assessment and Management Plan, which prescribes actions to avoid and reduce adverse impacts to wildlife associated with development. 

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