Newscasts

PNS Daily News - December 16, 2019 


Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for four specific witnesses in Senate impeachment trial; giving Iowans with disabilities a voice in caucuses; and an expert says Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lot more than just the holiday blues.

2020Talks - December 16, 2019 


Sen. Cory Booker led the charge asking the DNC to ease up debate qualification requirements. All seven candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate say they won't participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount in LA if it means crossing the picket line of Unite Here Local 11.

Groups Object to Forest Service Elk-Feeding Proposal Despite Court Order

Concentrated elk numbers at winter feedlots put animals at greater risk of contracting a number of diseases, including Chronic Wasting Disease, a condition caused by a malformed protein. (NPS)
Concentrated elk numbers at winter feedlots put animals at greater risk of contracting a number of diseases, including Chronic Wasting Disease, a condition caused by a malformed protein. (NPS)
November 19, 2019

JACKSON, Wyo. — On the heels of a court victory in fall 2018, conservation organizations are pressing Bridger-Teton Forest officials to not wait ten years, or even five years, to phase out winter feeding of elk east of Jackson Hole.

Lloyd Dorsey, conservation program manager with the Sierra Club's Wyoming chapter, said he would like to see artificial feeding of elk at Alkali Creek stop as soon as possible, and no later than the spring of 2021.

"The harsh reality is that chronic wasting disease is literally surrounding the Gros Ventre Valley and Alkali Creek,” Dorsey said. “The time to end baiting, feeding and concentrating elk is now, not in another decade."

Officials with Bridger-Teton National Forest recently released a proposal to allow the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to conduct "emergency feeding" of hundreds of elk, but the groups note the agency hasn't conducted a comprehensive environmental analysis as directed by a Wyoming District Court. The Forest Service wants to make way for another five years of feeding at the same location near Alkali Creek, and then end the practice.

Dorsey said the proposal also allows for an additional five-year extension, if the agency thinks it's necessary, which could extend winter feeding until 2030. He believes the Forest Service should not defer to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department when it goes against the agency's main directives.

"The Forest Service needs to manage according to their legal directives, which require healthy habitat, healthy wildlife - a sustainable ecology and ecosystem for future generations,” he said.

Dorsey added that data collected by non-governmental organizations and state agencies show there is enough natural food to sustain the region's elk and other big game over the winter. In 2018, after conservation groups flagged the Forest Service's failure to take a look at the environmental consequences of artificial feeding, a Wyoming District Court reversed a 2015 decision permitting feeding at Alkali Creek.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY