Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Game & Fish Seeks Public Input in Elk Feedlot Revisions

Play

Thursday, December 10, 2020   

JACKSON, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reconsidering how it manages the state's winter elk-feeding grounds, in part to mitigate the risk of infectious diseases, and the agency is looking for public input to develop a long-term plan.

Mark Gocke, public information specialist for the agency's Jackson region, said it's important to address the threats of chronic wasting disease at feeding grounds, where large numbers of animals congregate in close quarters.

"It has been spreading across the state, and so we want to plan for that," Gocke explained. "As it is always fatal for the animals that get chronic wasting disease, which means it could potentially be population-limiting."

Gocke noted there are currently no cases of chronic wasting disease on the state's 22 winter feeding grounds, but mule deer and whitetail deer populations have seen major outbreaks in southeastern Wyoming and the disease is spreading westward.

Feedgrounds were first introduced in 1929 to keep elk away from food intended for livestock, and proponents say they help keep elk numbers strong after the loss of historic habitat to development.

Comments can be added at the agency's website through Jan. 8.

Connie Wilbert, director of the Sierra Club's Wyoming chapter, said the state's iconic big game could take a serious long-term hit if chronic wasting disease, which can infect elk, deer and moose, sweeps through herds.

She observed fencing around hay stores and other tactics are effective at preventing elk encounters with livestock, and argued artificially drawing large numbers of elk to be in close proximity each winter poses a much bigger risk.

"And they don't leave, for the whole time they're there," Wilbert contended. "They are crowded together, they are standing there, they are lying there right next to each other, and that is a classic setup for quick disease transmission."

Wilbert added elk populations don't need feedlots to remain strong because there still is enough available habitat with ample winter food sources.

Game and Fish could tap a working group after the initial public comment period to create a long-term management plan that includes recommendations for whether to phase out, or continue, the winter feeding program.

The final plan would need to be approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.

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


get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021