buckfawn (003)The Wood River Valley acts as a wildlife corridor to a variety of animals such as bears, deer, elk, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. The wildlife in this area are very important to our ecosystem, and it is crucial that we learn to coexist with them and preserve their environment.

 In an effort to help protect these animals, Blaine County has partnered with several organizations to create guidelines, resolutions, and ordinances that help protect our local wildlife. 

For more information on how to safely live around wildlife visit https://wrvwildlifesmart.org/

Reporting Wildlife

In the beginning of 2022, Blaine County introduced a new tool to track wildlife sightings in the Wood River Valley. If citizens see wildlife in the area they can access this survey on their phone or computer to report these wildlife sightings. This information will be used to help local governments and animal agencies understand where wildlife are frequenting, and allow us to better protect them and our citizens. 

Access survey here

***Please remember to give wildlife space, and to keep your dogs on a leash if there is a chance that there may be wildlife around. Deer and elk must minimize the amount of energy they expend in the winter in order to survive, so it is important that we respect their space.
  1. Winter Wildlife
  2. Summer Wildlife

Help Our Wintering Wildlife 

Bullwhacker three cows February 2020 lowres (003)Blaine County, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Blaine County Recreation District, Wood River Land Trust, the City of Bellevue, and the City of Hailey have worked together to build the Administrative Guidelines for Winter Wildlife Closures and Restrictions.  These guidelines were put together to provide direction to educate the community, and to put restrictions in place to protect our wintering wildlife.  

The Wood River Valley is a destination for summer and winter recreation, but in the winter recreational activities can be incompatible with the local wildlife, and cause extra stress that is detrimental to their health. Each year, deer and elk summering at higher elevations in the mountains migrate to lower elevation winter ranges. The fat reserves these animals accrue in the summertime is necessary in order to sustain them through the winter as deep snow, scarce food, and sub-zero temperatures force these animals to draw on these fat reserves in order to survive. Conserving energy and minimizing loss of these fat reserves is crucial, and is the best chance for these animals to survive the winter. 

We can easily get in our cars and go someplace else, but for deer or elk, moving even a couple of hundred yards through deep snow can exhaust an already malnourished animal, particularly a fawn or calf trying to get through its first winter. It is up to us, as a community, to protect these animals and by leashing our pets, and giving them space when we see them on the trails. We ask that everyone review the Administrative Guidelines and learn the best practices for recreating around wintering wildlife. 

The full Administrative Guidelines can be viewed here.

Click here for more information on how to successfully live with wildlife in the Wood River Valley.