DWR to relocate at least 80 elk from SLC golf course to mountain

Mar 18, 2023, 10:23 PM | Updated: 10:25 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Sunday is moving day for a herd of elk that has been hanging out at the Salt Lake Country Club since late January.

At 10 a.m., the Utah Highway Patrol will close major roads at the mouth of Parleys Canyon, and workers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will try to herd them into the mountains.

“We really want to get them out of the golf course and right up that mountain to where they belong,” Scott Root, conservation outreach manager with the DWR said.

He said he’s never seen so many elk in neighborhoods for this long of a period of time during his 32-year career. They’ve waited for a chance to help the elk escape the dangerous web of busy roads at the mouth of Parleys Canyon, and tomorrow is the day.

Root has managed a lot of unusual wildlife encounters for the DWR, but nothing like this operation.

“A lot of crossed fingers,” he said. “But we have a lot of staff on hand, a lot of emergency personnel from several agencies.”

Unable to forage for food in the deep snow up higher on the mountain, around 80 elk found their way to the safety of the tasty golf course more than a month ago.

“We just hope we can gently move these elk and guide them up the mountain from the Salt Lake Country Club golf course,” he said. “We’re a little nervous, but we’re optimistic.“

They plan to form a human chain with approximately 20 DWR workers and coax the herd of elk above Parleys Canyon.

“We came over to see the elk,” said Christine Balderas.

She and her husband, Dan, have lived nearby all their lives and are fascinated with the plan. This evening, they got a good glimpse of the elk from across the interstate at Tanner Regional Park.

“We figured it out after driving around the country club that this was the best vantage point,” she said.

They hope the plan works.

“They know what they’re doing at the DWR,” Dan said. “If not them, who?”

Root said the roads may start closing at 9:30 a.m., I-80 will close from Mountain Dell to 1300 East. I-215 and Foothill Boulevard will close near the mouth of the canyon. Emergency personnel will set up strategically to try to keep the elk from heading the wrong direction.

“Elk are going to go where they want to go,” Root said. “But we hope we can just make this happen quickly because we realize these very busy and important roads cannot be shut down for very long.”

They hope they can move the herd in less than an hour, but the elk are unpredictable. They’re asking everybody to stay away from the area because they don’t want anyone or anything to spook the elk and disrupt the operation.

“It only takes one person to make everything kind of not work,” the DWR manager said. “Literally, that happened last time. There was one person out looking at what we were doing and the elk took a right. But we were lucky enough to be able to push them back up the hill.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)...

Carlysle Price

Juvenile died after crashing motorcycle in West Jordan

A juvenile died Saturday morning after appearing to have lost control of their motorcycle.

1 hour ago

A Utah mountain biker is recalling the moments when a family of badgers approached him at Corner Ca...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Mountain biker recounts aggressive badger standoff in Draper

A mountain biker is recounting a tense standoff with a family of badgers, who got so aggressive they nearly forced him off the trail.

12 hours ago

A hiking trail in Utah County....

Andrew Adams

Rescuers prepare for what could be a busy Memorial Day weekend

Search and rescue crews are getting ready for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they are urging people to prepare for the elements.

13 hours ago

Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended meetings in Ecuador and Colum...

Carlysle Price

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates $3.4 million to Project HOPE

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $3.4 million to Project HOPE to aid vulnerable populations in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. 

15 hours ago

The Unified police car that crashed into the suspect's yellow car....

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Unified police officer hospitalized after being hit by suspect, second officer and suspect also hospitalized

A Unified police officer was hospitalized after being hit by a suspect's truck on Friday, police say.

16 hours ago

Marcus Wilson preforming at the Olympic Oval in Kearns to a group of people....

Peter Rosen

Buskering at Buskerfest

If you're downtown this weekend, you might see a unicycling unicorn. It's not a hallucination, it's Buskerfest. A celebration of street performers.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

DWR to relocate at least 80 elk from SLC golf course to mountain