Ornamental yew plants prohibited in Blaine County

In February 2016 the Blaine County Board of County Commissions unanimously passed County ordinance number 2016-01, declaring certain plant species as County noxious weeds, prohibiting the sale, planting, and possession of any plant on the County noxious weed list, and providing penalties for violations.

Plants included on the County noxious weed list include Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata), European or English Yew (Taxus baccata), and Chinese Yew (Taxus chinensis) and their hybrids.

Ordinance 2016-01 became effective March 2, 2016.

The ordinance is a response to the fact that during the winter of 2015 and 2016 foraging wildlife consumed toxic yew plants in residential areas, which has led to the death of at least twenty elk throughout Blaine County, as confirmed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The Board of Blaine County Commissioners found that toxic yew plants pose an imminent danger of injury to wildlife and a more broad danger to pets and livestock. Therefore, eradicating toxic yew plants from residential areas will promote the public health, safety, and welfare.

The Ohio Gulch Transfer Station accepts yew debris free of charge, but the yew must be separate from other yard debris.

Please note proper removal includes all traces, no matter how small, of the plant.

Blaine County currently has identified 25 species of noxious weeds. Idaho and Blaine County noxious weed education and outreach materials.

On March 22, 2022, Blaine County and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game held a town hall meeting to share information about poisonous yew plants, which have been responsible for killing elk and moose across the Wood River Valley this winter.

The webinar was recorded and can be viewed at this link https://youtu.be/9XCa_3Q8ssc

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