Elk feeding grounds

USDA photo by Scott Bauer

The Wyoming Game and Fish commission approved a Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan with no revisions. Some environmental groups, though, are worried that the plan doesn't address elk feedgrounds.

Ameen Al-Ghetta/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its final version of a five-year step-down plan in December that aims to reduce elks' dependency on supplemental feed. 

Elk
Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the state filed a motion to intervene in support of the Wyoming Game and Fish in a lawsuit over five elk feeding grounds in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Attorney Andrea Santarsiere with Western Watersheds Project, the plaintiff in the case, says concentrated numbers of elk at feeding grounds cause severe damage to land and water quality.  

But feeding grounds have long been used to keep elk and cattle from mingling, thereby stopping the spread of diseases that the two species are capable of exchanging. But Santarsiere says there’s an easier way—fences.