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            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
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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

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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