The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is starting the process to rework its elk feedground management plan. The first step is a public comment period.
For the past couple of years, Game and Fish has grappled with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disease that is deadly to deer, elk and moose. A public process looking at CWD management resulted with the need to examine the management of the 22 elk feedgrounds in northwest Wyoming.
Game and Fish’s Mark Gocke in the Jackson and Pinedale regions, said the management plan not only looks at wildlife diseases, but also damaged private property and the prevention of commingling of livestock and elk. He said these initial meetings are educational.
“[We will] really try and lay out for people as best we can, why we're doing what we're doing, how we got here, and why we continue to use supplemental feeding of elk in the wintertime as a management practice,” said Gocke. “And Brucellosis, of course, is a big driving factor in keeping elk away from cattle.”
Brad Hovinga, the regional wildlife supervisor for the Jackson region, said this is the beginning of a multi-year process.
“The next phase we'll move into will be more of a public collaboration phase, we're not sure exactly what that looks like yet, a lot of that is yet to be determined by phase one,” said Hovinga. “So phase one will determine what sort of process we use to go forward and collaborate with the public on the future of silk feed grounds in Wyoming.”
The meetings may fill up, but a recording of them will be posted online. The first of the four virtual meetings will be Tuesday, December 1 and the last one will be on Thursday, December 3. To sign up for a meeting and more information on elk feedgrounds click here.