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Idaho Fish and Game

Fish and Game to provide a community presentation on ornamental yew identification in Ketchum


Finding ornamental yew in residential areas of the Wood River Valley continues to be a challenge

Over the past several years, wildlife throughout the Wood River Valley has died after eating Japanese yew, a banned, ornamental plant often found in landscaping around homes and businesses across Idaho. Over the last two years, over 20 elk and two moose have died after eating yew. 

Even with a 2016 Blaine County ordinance that bans possessing and planting yew, ordinance number 2016-01, which has also been adopted by the cities of Ketchum and Hailey, the plant continues to be found in many parts of the county and in Wood River Valley communities.

Ornamental Japanese yew is a common landscaping plant found throughout Idaho, but is extremely toxic to wildlife, pets and people.


To help residents identify Japanese yew, Idaho Fish and Game and their Wildlife Smart Communities coalition partners will offer a 1-hour community presentation on yew identification and removal guidelines. The presentation will also include information about other human-wildlife issues happening throughout Blaine County, such as wildlife entanglements, safety around mountain lions and moose and how to keep black bears from getting access to unsecured residential garbage and becoming food-conditioned.

After darting and anesthetizing the elk calf, Fish and Game staff cut the metal tomato cage from around its neck.


The presentation will be held on Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at The Community Library in Ketchum, in the John A. and Carole O. Moran lecture hall.

Pre-registration is requested by calling (208) 726-3493.

The presentation will also be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person, using this link:

The presentation is free.

For more information contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.