◆ Phase II is designed to have more in-depth engagement with stakeholders.
CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is transitioning to Phase II of the public collaborative process on feedground management. Elk Feedgrounds – A challenge we can take on began last fall with shared-learning sessions. This summer, Phase II begins with six public meetings held across the state to outline stakeholder and public involvement.
“Phase II is designed to have more in-depth engagement with various stakeholder groups on elk feedgrounds management,” said Scott Edberg, Game and Fish deputy chief of wildlife and chair of the elk feedgrounds steering team. “We will provide additional opportunities for shared-learning on issues that were identified by participants as an outcome of Phase I.”
All planned public meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in-person:
• July 27 – Laramie, Laramie Game and Fish Office, 1212 S. Adams St.
• July 28 – Rock Springs, Rock Springs Public Library – Ferrero Room, 400 C Street
• July 29 – Casper, Casper Game and Fish Office – Pronghorn Room, 3030 Energy Ln.
• Aug. 3 – Afton, Afton Wyoming Civic Center – Room 125 A and B, 150 S. Washington St.
• Aug. 4 – Pinedale, Sublette County Weed and Pest, 12 S. Bench Road
• Aug. 5 – Jackson, Jackson Hole Conference Center, 920 West Broadway
Meetings will be facilitated by Tara Kuipers Consulting, an independent firm based in Cody.
Phase II will build off the information provided in Phase I. Recordings of the Phase I presentations can be found on the Elk Feedgrounds Public Collaborative webpage as well as a summary report of Phase I.
“We had a great dialogue with the public in Phase I and are excited to build upon that momentum in Phase II,” Edberg said. “We look forward to the public’s ideas and feedback. The department is interested in multiple perspectives to inform the feedgrounds management plan.”
Elk have utilized feedgrounds in northwest Wyoming since the early 1900s. Approximately 12,000 elk are supplementally-fed during the winter months on 22 Game and Fish-operated feedgrounds in Teton, Sublette and Lincoln counties. An additional 8,000 elk are fed at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. High concentrations of elk create concern for the transmission of disease to wildlife and cattle. Supplemental feeding is a complicated and often contentious issue with biological, social, economic and political considerations.
Ultimately, the Game and Fish led-process will produce a long-term management plan for elk feedgrounds managed by the department. The draft management plan is tentatively planned to go in front of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for approval in the spring of 2023.
To learn more and get involved visit the Elk Feedgrounds Public Collaborative webpage.