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Forest taking comments on Wyoming elk feedground authorization
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Forest taking comments on Wyoming elk feedground authorization

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Feeding

Wyoming Game and Fish Department staff use horses and sleighs to feed elk on 22 winter feedgrounds spread across the western third of the state.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is seeking comments on whether to issue a one-year permit to allow operation of a winter elk feedground.

The comment period comes following a request from the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to allow the use of facilities at Dell Creek feedground, one of 22 in Wyoming. 

The feedground has been in operation since 1975, but in September a U.S. District Court judge ruled the authorization for the Dell Creek operation had expired. On Oct. 5, the commission asked Forest Service officials to allow continued use of the feedground.

In its request for comments, the Forest Service noted granting the application would meet the agency's planning goals by helping "re-establish historic elk migration routes and to provide increased viewing and hunting opportunities for outfitters and clients."

Scientists and conservation groups have decried the feedgrounds as breeding grounds for disease, including fatal chronic wasting disease. Wyoming Game and Fish is in the process of re-examining its historical use of feedgrounds, holding listening and informational presentations across the state.

The forest is accepting comments until Oct. 24. The one-year special use authorization would provide the Forest Service time to conduct an environmental analysis to determine the effects of long-term use.

More information is available on the forest's website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=60948. Electronic comments should be submitted online on the Bridger-Teton National Forest project webpage. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to Gregory Brooks, Acting District Ranger; Big Piney Ranger District, Bridger-Teton National Forest; P.O. Box 218, Big Piney, WY 83113.

The Bridger-Teton NF is not accepting hand-delivered comments due to limited office functions as part of precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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