Get Involved / Feedgrounds public engagement

 

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



 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department kicked off Phase II of the Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On public collaborative process with six public meetings held across the state (Laramie, Rock Springs, Casper, Afton, Pinedale and Jackson). These meetings had a three-fold purpose:

  1. Share a brief recap of Phase I and the detailed timeline for Phase II.
  2. Inform members of the public how to become involved as stakeholders in Phase II.
  3. Engage in discussion with meeting attendees on their primary concerns and ideal outcomes related to elk feedground management.

Below is a video recording of the final public meeting held in Jackson on August 6, 2021.
Note: the very beginning of the meeting, which was primarily introductions of the feedgrounds steering team, was not captured.


Phase II Public Meeting Summary

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