FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI) – On Sunday, April 9, 2023 beginning at 7:00 am, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fish & Game Department, Idaho Fish & Game, Idaho State Police and the Idaho Transportation Department will begin a joint project to push elk to the east side of I-15.
During this project, ISP will be enacting rolling closures to slow traffic. A helicopter will also be operating to assist with moving the herds.
The closure will occur between milepost 73 (Northgate Interchange) and milepost 89 (South Blackfoot Interchange). A smaller band of about 150 elk, will be moved first from the area around exit 80. Once that herd is moved, a larger band of about 450 elk will be moved. There is no time estimate for how long it will take to move both herds.
ITD indicates the lowest traffic counts occur on Sunday mornings. The timing of the move is also dictated by the migratory habits of the elk.
Motorists should expect slowdowns and possible detours. The primary concern for all involved is the safety of the traveling public. This winter elk have been wintering near the Interstate and occasionally wandering onto the roadway. By pushing the elk east into the mountains, the movement can occur during the safest possible time.
“We appreciate the cooperation from the public in ensuring that this is a safe process for all and would like to thank the agencies involved in the collaborative efforts,” Fish & Wildlife Director Chad Colter said.