As the Wyoming Game and Fish Department enters the third phase of its elk feedground management plan, several conservation groups are calling on the state to prioritize the health of the Greater Yellowstone region’s wild herds and to begin shutting down 22 state-run feedgrounds in northwestern Wyoming. Collectively, tens of thousands of elk are artificially fed each winter at those feedgrounds.
Kristin Combs with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates calls the move essential for mitigating the spread of chronic wasting disease.”We know that chronic wasting disease is definitely going to have a significant impact on the herd health. The feedgrounds just set up this perfect recipe for basically a petri dish for the proliferation of disease.”
Comprehensive recommendations delivered this week by Combs’ group and five others call for the agency to phase out all state-run feedgrounds no later than 2028. The other groups urging the phaseout include the Gallatin Wildlife Association, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club, Western Watersheds Project and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection.