Hailey officials aim to ban elk-killing shrub

Posted at 9:37 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 11:37:58-05

HAILEY, Idaho (AP) -- Officials in central Idaho are moving toward creating an ordinance banning an ornamental plant that has killed at least 20 wild elk that ate it.

The Idaho Mountain Express reported that Blaine County commissioners on Tuesday directed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Graves to draft an ordinance banning the selling and planting of yew shrubs.

The ordinance will also require homeowners to remove existing yew shrubs.

Graves says the county has the authority to prohibit the plants after a finding by the commissioners that they are a public health hazard.

Graves says the nonnative plants are toxic to most animals and people.

He says the ordinance would likely be an amendment to the county's noxious weed ordinance.