• Interviews with the B-T and Wyoming G&F available here.
The Bridger-Teton National Forrest will accept public comment through January 16, 2024 on the proposal to renew the lease for two elk feed grounds in the Star Valley region.
The comments are directly related to the 20-year lease programs at Forest Park and Dell Creek grounds.
The most recent lease agreements expired in 2016 and have been renewed on a year-by-year recently.
Randy Griebelo, Ecosystem Staff Officer with the Bridger-Teton joined the Weekday Wake Up program on Monday to review the request for maintaining feeding operations at both sites.
Griebelo, explained the at NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) approval is needed to continue for a new 20-year period.
He advised the current DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) on this renewal process is now open for public review and comment, again noting the Tuesday, January 16 deadline. He encouraged public review of the statement.
“We will process the comments and in about a year will produce the Environmental Impact Statement.
Alternatives under consideration for the feed grounds now included options granting another 20 year permit with no further action, phasing out the feeding program over time or simply stopping the process now.
“The actual proposed game and Fish proposal is to maintain operations for the next 20 years, as they have done,” Griebelo pointed out.
He noted that if the alternative is chosen to discontinue feeding, the state agency would be given three years to disassemble operations at these two feed grounds.
Griebelo said there is no preferred alternative now from the Forest Service, but he did express concerns over the chronic wasting disease that big game are experiencing in western Wyoming and how it can be spread in confined areas.
Additional information and comments on the Dell Creek and Forest Park feed grounds may be submitted under “Comment/Object on Project” at https://www.fs.usda.gov/
See svinews.com for a complete copy of the Dell Creek & Forest Park Elk Feed grounds: Long-Term Special Use Permit.
“We asked for another 20 year permit,” Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik confirmed in an earlier interview with SVI Media.
Nesvik acknowledged the feeding program is “not a perfect scenario, but the program has continued now for “over 100 years.”
He reported that Game & Fish personnel have been advised to look for opportunities to reduce feeding where possible.
The director acknowledged that curtailing the program would have a “significant impact” on elk, stock producers and landowners in general and it could lead to increased opportunities for the spread of brucellosis on to cattle ranches.
The Forest Park Feed ground is located near the Box Y Lodge, 33 miles south from Alpine on the Greys River Road.
The Dell Creek Feed ground is approximately four miles east on Dell Creek Road (FS Rd 30600) from Hwy 191/189, in Bondurant.
Elk are fed hay on a daily basis from November to April based on current winter weather conditions.