June 6, 2023

Elk Rancher Rulon Jones Denied Appeal

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Former NFL defensive lineman Rulon Jones lost his appeal to the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Board in Bingham County, Idaho yesterday. He will now take his case to the courts.

Jones has applied for a license to open a game ranch in Bingham County. That license was granted to Jones with three conditions. Some of the lands Jones intends to use as part of his several thousand acre preserve, will be leased. The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Board is requiring Jones to provide signed documents from these landowners that he is in fact leasing this land.

A second issue involves Jones working with a local Mormon church in scheduling hunts to not conflict with a girls camp. Jones needs to provide a letter from the church, which sits in the middle of the hunting preserve, that he has done this.

The third and perhaps biggest bone of contention is the requirement of the board that Jones build a double-walled fence around the preserve. There is one other hunting ranch in Bingham County and it is not required to have a double fence.

It will be interesting to see how the courts rule in this case. Some say it is just bad timing on the part of Jones that his application process occurred at the same time of the escaped elk from the Chief Joseph ranch in the eastern part of the state.

Not being familiar with Idaho law and in particular Bingham Country planning and zoning laws, I can only speculate on the authority of this board to make such a requirement. Most often the extent of any planning and/or zoning board is to uphold or enforce existing ordinances. If this is the case in Bingham County and the board there is legislating from the bench, I would assume the courts would have no other choice but to grant Jones his appeal.

I’ll stay on top of this story.

Tom Remington