Carol Walker lives near Rabbit Mountain and does not approve of a proposal for limited elk hunting on the Boulder County open space. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)
Boulder County elk hunt on open space triggers some dissent
by Charlie Brennan
A Boulder County proposal to create a limited season for hunting elk at Rabbit Mountain Open Space is stirring the passions of people on both sides of the issue.
Carol Walker has lived within a mile of Boulder County’s Rabbit Mountain Open Space northeast of Lyons for the better part of two decades, on property where she cares for three formerly wild mustangs, which she adopted.
A photographer specializing in photographing wild horses across the Rocky Mountain West, she sees the elk as her neighbors, and is appalled at the idea that the counting would permit a limited hunting season as a program for managing a herd that wildlife officials see as having grown out of control.
“I think there absolutely should never be hunting on open space. It is just too dangerous,” Walker said. “I also worry about hunters wandering around over here, horses getting hurt, neighbors getting hurt. I’m worried about that. And out-of-state, out-of-town people who are just wandering around.”
The county’s draft proposal, which is endorsed by and would be implemented on about 5,000 acres in and around Rabbit Mountain in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, first came to light in March and was the subject of an open house conducted April 6 at which more than 100 people showed up to learn about the plan — and made their feelings known.
A hearing on what the county labels a “public harvest program” is set before the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee on Thursday evening, at which public comment will be heard, and the committee will possibly make a recommendation on how to go forward. Those who wish to speak are asked to sign up in advance.
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