February 2024 Update

The updated DRAFT of the Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan (Plan) can be downloaded below. A one-page summary highlighting the main points of the Plan is also available. The Steering Team will present the Plan before the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at the upcoming meeting in Pinedale on March 12-13, 2024, for approval.  Please see the meeting agenda for times.

The DRAFT Plan culminates one of the Department's most involved public collaborative efforts. Many helpful comments were provided on the DRAFT Plan, and as a result, the Steering Team made substantive changes to the final draft. Comments also asked for further explanation on different aspects of the Plan.

 
 
DRAFT Plan Overview and What's Next


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Review a one-page summary of the updated Draft Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan
DRAFT Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan - Feb 2024

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Updated DRAFT Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan

 
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Steering Team is pleased to share its final Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan (Plan) draft. This draft has been carefully crafted through a collaborative effort involving various Stakeholders and the public. The feedback received during the public comment process has been invaluable, leading to substantial revisions and improvements in the final draft.

The next step is to present the Plan to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for approval at the upcoming meeting in Pinedale. With the Commission's endorsement, the Department can proceed with implementing the Plan, the FMAP process, and ensuring the responsible
management of elk feedgrounds in Wyoming.

July 2023 Public Meetings

The Game and Fish Department will host four public meetings, three in-person and one online, to provide an opportunity for the general public to interact with members of the Game and Fish Department’s elk feedgrounds steering team and discuss/learn more about the details of the proposed elk feedgrounds plan.

DRAFT Elk Feedgrounds Plan Public Meetings:
  • July 24 - Teton County Public Library, Jackson, 6 pm
  • July 25 - Online via Zoom, 6 pm (link for registration)
  • July 26 - Sublette County Public Library, Pinedale, 6 pm
  • July 27 - Afton Civic Center, Afton, 6 pm

Following stakeholder and public comments on the DRAFT plan, Game and Fish will complete the final plan and address the Commission in November 2023.  Following Commission approval of the Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan, the plan then calls for the development of more specific Feedground Management Action Plans, which will look more closely at potential modifications involving individual elk feedgrounds or a group of closely-related feedgrounds. This next phase of the process will involve smaller working groups of varied interests, specifically local potentially-affected landowners and stakeholders.
 

 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages several elk feedgrounds in northwest Wyoming. Over the years, the supplemental winter feeding of elk has grown in complexity. Among the complexities are wildlife diseases, specifically increasing concerns about the spread of chronic wasting disease across the State. While there are benefits to feeding elk on feedgrounds, there are also challenges, which is why the Department is preparing to develop a plan that will guide the long-term (ten years and beyond) management of feedgrounds.

“Given the growing complexities of feedgrounds, I feel strongly we are at a point where we needed to talk to the public and give all the facts on the Department’s approach,” said Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik, “People may be familiar with feedgrounds as it relates to their interests but don’t know the ‘why’ behind the Game and Fish decisions. This is an educational effort.”

To assist future management decisions, the Department has initiated a multi-phased effort to gather public input. Elk Feedgrounds - A challenge we can take on began in 2020 with several public meetings or shared-learning sessions about elk feedgrounds in Wyoming.

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The ultimate goal of the Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On is to consider all biological, social, economic, and political issues, along with wildlife diseases, to achieve a durable, publicly supported long-term feedgrounds management plan for the Department operated elk feedgrounds. The Phase I target completion date was mid-January 2021.  Phase I of the elk feedgrounds collaborative process was launched in 2020 with the development of a Department feedground steering team (Steering Team).  The goals of Phase I are to:
 

1. share information related to feedground history, objectives of the program, and the complexities that have evolved related to continuing feeding operations, and

2. secure public and stakeholder feedback that will lead to the development of future strategy and policy for the State of Wyoming feedground program and set the conditions for Phase II.


For more information on the Phase I process and to learn what we heard, review the Phase I Final Report provided by Tara Kuipers Consulting.      Phase I Feedgrounds Public Process Summary Report

Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On Phase I public meeting recording
Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On Q&A Session meeting recording



 



 

Stakeholders asked questions of Game and Fish employees.  Watch Disease Questions and Answers Session

 

 

Additional references:

Disease peer reviewed articles

 

Powerpoint Presentations: 

1. Feedgrounds and Diseases

2. Feedgrounds and CWD

3. Feedgrounds and Brucellosis

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If you have questions on the process, please email wgf-elkfeedgroundinfo@wyo.gov.
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