Since October 2021, Jackson-area chapter leadership team member Liz Lynch has been participating in the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) process for receiving public input regarding the future of elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming. Liz has represented Wyoming BHA in the non-governmental organization (NGO) stakeholder group.
The “shared learning” phase, which involved weekly presentations and Q&A sessions, ran from early November 2021 to the end of January 2022. You can revisit the “shared learning” phase materials at the WGFD website , which includes the recorded presentations as well as links to the assigned readings when applicable.
At the end of the “shared learning” phase, stakeholder group participants had the opportunity to provide feedback based on the presentations and their respective priorities and values. This blog post includes the comments submitted on behalf of Wyoming BHA. The comments adhered closely to language adopted by BHA at an organization-wide level, and were also shaped by the actions of other individual chapters (New Mexico, Montana) on related topics.
The takeaways: we must use science-driven management to carefully balance short term and long term hunting opportunities –the latter including the need for ample healthy winter habitat and proactive disease prevention – and without moving towards strategies that promote the privatization of public resources. We believe that elk feedgrounds should be phased out, and that the phase-out process can help us achieve improved and more sustainable hunting opportunities, improved winter range habitat, better herd-level health for elk and other ungulates, enhance data about wildlife and habitat health, and leverage both preexisting and novel funding and public-private partnerships to achieve these goals.
Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions, concerns, or further input for either Wyoming BHA or WGFD.