The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s elk feedgrounds public collaborative, which began last fall, is now transitioning to Phase II of their public process. The department’s elk feedgrounds steering team, charged with developing a long-term feedgrounds management plan, provided an update to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at their April meeting in Jackson.
Phase II involves additional opportunity for the public to share their thoughts on feedgrounds and contribute to shaping the elk feedgrounds management plan. To begin Phase II, the elk feedgrounds steering team will hold a series of meetings with the various stakeholder groups and public over the next several months providing multiple opportunities for shared-learning and public input.
The high concentrations of elk are a concern for the transmission of disease to wildlife and cattle. Supplemental feeding has become a contentious issue with biological, social, economic and political considerations because it gathers large numbers of elk together enabling disease to spread more readily. Elk have utilized feedgrounds in northwest Wyoming since the early 1900s.
Approximately 12,000 elk are supplementally-fed during the winter months on 22 Game and Fish-operated feedgrounds in Teton, Sublette and Lincoln counties, with an additional 8,000 elk being fed at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson. Additional information on the Phase II meetings will be forthcoming in June.