Want to stay up to date on important issues in Harris Ranch? Join the HRWMA E-Newsletter mailing list to receive our quarterly newsletter and notices of special concern. CLICK HERE: mailto:info@hrwma.org

                                     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, 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.

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


           Image result for burlap roll

- 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                    


Image result for yews wrapped in burlap                                 

Image result for burlap wrapped yews


                                   Related image

                Image result for Idaho wildlife   

              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)
Related image

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.

Related image

 l a y e r
  N e w
 l a y e r
Image result for flat needled japanese yewRelated imageRelated image

                        WINTER 2016: Elk In Record Heavy SnowfallImage result for japanese yew berries poisonous

                                          Want to know about wintering wildlife?                                                                        "THE WINTER STORY "                                                                                                              class coming in November ...                                                                                           send inquiry to: info@hrwma.org                                                   

  All photos are courtesy & linked to source                                                                                                                                         



foothills 101...bringing back the foothillsImage result for drawings of boise foothillsRelated imageImage result for sagebrush steppe
Image result for sagebrush steppeRelated image

Image result for bitterbrush steppe              Watch this video                  for before and after  conditions of the 2016 Table Rock Wildfire



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

Image result for arrows pointing to the left

Image result for bitterbrush steppe


Image result for boise river wildlife management area


  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 deer and elk that migrate to the BRWMA for winter. The BRWMA provides winter range for migration herds as well as habitat for 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  later November or early December.  Please direct inquiry to volunteer:  info@hrwma.org    

Image result for bitterbrush in idaho                                                                SAGE BRUSH (Artemisia tridentate)  one of two main                                                  foundation plantings for  habitat in the Boise Foothills

Sage brush is a native shrub and a primary food source that serves as a foundation for wildlife habitat. Although sage brush 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 tridentate)  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 foundation planting of sagebrush and bitterbrush  by planting seedlings on post wildfire ground





 Harris Ranch continues growing and  becomes 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.


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 damage 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 know as a cause of death 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 Please consider volunteering with us to collect sagebrush seeds! Contact: 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

                             Image result for boise river songbirds


     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


    • 09/06/2017
    • 11/01/2017
    • 3 sessions
    • Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center

                Birds of Fall & Winter Migration


                    ATTEND ONE  OR ALL SESSIONS! 

     Bird books and binoculars are available to borrow.   

                      No registration necessary. 

            ~September 6, 2017 CLASS: Fall Bird  Migration   

           ~October 4, 2017 CLASS: Winter Bird  Migration  

      ~November 1, 2017 CLASS: Supporting Wintering Backyard Birds

            ~December 6. 2017 CLASS: Idaho Bird Count!

     ~The instructor local ornithologist, Terry provides plentiful information and tips on birds in the Boise area and beyond!  ~

    September 6 ClassCome to learn about the fall migration of birds and the many challenges bird watchers face when trying to identify birds in their non-breeding plumage. Discover what species are going where and which routes they will take to get there  on the migration process. Terry will also share information about conservation issues and what impacts and difficulties birds face while migrating in the travel routes.

            Image result for Idaho winter birds

    October 4 Class: Where do our local species go as winter approaches? Discover winter ranges for Idaho species. Some birds are local migrants and others are long distance migrants. Learn about conservation issues and opportunities in Mexico, Central and South America.

    November 1 Class: Learn  how to strategies for supporting  winter resident birds. November class is the session  where you will get recommendations about the best bird seed and feeder choices for the birds in your backyard. Having difficulty figuring out who is who at the feeder? Terry will offer helpful identification tips to keep you in the know!.

            Image result for Idaho winter birds

    December 6 Class: So how are bird populations doing? This session will provide information about bird population monitoring and population trends. Who collects data? How is data collected? Where is it kept? What does it tell us? How can you contribute? You'll learn about ways to participate in data collection events like the Christmas Bird Count, Big Backyard Bird Count, Breeding Bird Survey and eBird.

    Keep in mind, the series of Foothills Bird Migration Classes compliment the "Bird Feeder Watch" event. An educational winter companion for homeowners belonging to Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association starting in October and running to April. 

           Image result for Idaho winter birds

    • 09/25/2017
    • 6:00 PM
    • 12/11/2017
    • 8:30 PM
    • MK Nature Center Building: 600 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712


                    Fall Lecture Series MK Nature Center Idaho fish, birds & wildlife



                      Image result for birds images Idaho 

      Ready to learn new facts about Idaho's unique v    setting of wildlife? 

     Attend one or all four FALL LECTURE SERIES You're sure to see the beauty of wildlife in a whole another way!


            September 25, 2017: 

       Sockeye Salmon History & Recovery:  

    Regional fish expert Dan Baker explains the natural history and recovery of Sockeye Salmon. Find out what happened to this once abundant species and what is happening now to recover these endangered fish.

    Image result for images of sockeye salmon

             October 19, 2017:

       All about Intermountain Bird Observatory: Image result for images of intermountain bird observatory

    Find out what the observatory does and how they do it with presenter Heidi Ware.


             November 6, 2017

        A Day in the Life of Dr. Drew Wildlife Vet:

    Meet Dr. Mark Drew jand hear about what it's like to be a wildlife veterinarian in Idaho. Learn about his close up and personal experiences with wildlife

     Image result for Dr Mark Drew vet


           December 11, 2017: 

       Beavers in the Desert and Amphibians:  

    Wildlife Biologist Bill Bosworth will tell about the work he does in SW Idaho with beavers in the desert and amphibians. 

                               Image result for beaver images in the desert

    • 10/01/2017
    • 04/30/2018

    North America's Winter Feeder Watch

    Image result for wintering chickadee


       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.

    Image result for Winter birds in boise idaho feeders

    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. ~

    Image result for Winter birds in boise idaho feeders

    • 10/19/2017
    • 5:30 PM
    • 11/16/2017
    • 6:30 PM
    • Jim Hall Foothills Center

        TOUR OF THE RESERVES Hiking Trail Series October 19 & November 16

    Image result for photos of hulls gulch Boise Idaho

    Get to know your public land in almost your backyard!

     The Foothills Learning Center and Idaho Conservation League team up to offer these short hiking “tours” of City owned foothills reserves. These eleven reserves are a growing and interconnected system that provides environmental, social, health, economic and related benefits. Maybe you are already familiar with the trails, but you don't know the history and plan for these special places. Come find out!  All  hikes  no more than 3 miles, free, and family friendly!

                 Hulls Gulch October 19

    The majority of this reserve was acquired through a citizen initiative from 1991 to 1993, and many acres acquired through  grassroots fundraising efforts. Home to the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, this reserve connects many other reserves and public lands. Join ICL and the City of Boise as we take a hike and talk about management solutions on this heavily used reserve!

    Image result for photos of hulls gulch Boise Idaho


     TO REGISTER: Call Lana Weber at (208) 345-6933 Ext.16

          Hollow Reserve November 16

    Revered for its abundance of trails, and views of Boise. The reserve is 317 acres total: Boise City owns 258 acres, and shares acres with the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley (LTTV) owning 59 acres .  Hike on the all-weather trail and hear how LTTV acquired the reserve property. Read more at: http://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/playing-outdoors/article73269452.html

    Image result for photographs at hillside to Hollow Reserves Boise Idaho


      TO REGISTER: Call Lana Weber at (208) 345-6933 Ext.16

    • 10/28/2017
    • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • Deer Flat National Refuge


    Image result for halloween pumpkin clipart



    A free event for kids and kids at heart  Come learn about "creepy" and nocturnal CRITTERS! 


      ~  See live "creepy critters," learn about    wildlife on a spooky hike, earn candy,       make crafts, and howl for coyotes.

        Wear your costume and come rain or        shine!~

      DAY,  DATE & TIME: 

     Saturday, October 28th and runs  from 3 to 6 PM.

                        Image result for Halloween cat

              For more information contact: 

                   deerflat@fws.gov or 

                      call: 208-467-9278 

    • 10/29/2017
    • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • 2153 E. Riverwalk Dr. Boise, Idaho 83702

         Birding on the Bethanie October 29, 2017                                 

                              Image result for birding in idaho

                          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/riparian wooded habitat. We usually finish around noon. 

    Bring water, binocs and maybe a plastic grocery bag in case we see any trash (it’s usually minimal) No public restrooms are available.      

                  To register contact: 

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

    • 11/12/2017
    • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • TBD


               Family Birding Day November 12, 2017 9AM to 11AM                                                 



             Image result for Family of birds

     ~Join the Golden Eagle Audubon Society (GEAS) for a short,    introductory bird walk for children, families, and new birders.~

    Learn about the local vicinity and what birds call Boise home. The GEAS can  provide binoculars and bird guides to borrow and enjoy for the duration of the walk.  Typically we meet at an area park and a volunteer leads the group as we walk and look for birds.  We spend time introducing how to use binoculars and look up what species we are seeing in the provided bird guides.  Join Alex Takasugi of the Golden Eagle Audubon Society for a  family birding walk~ 

                                   Park Location To Be Announced            

           Please check  link below for more information & confirmation of event :



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. 

  • Home

  Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association

   PO Box 1949
   Boise, ID 83701
   (208) 515-7413

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software