CASPER, Wyoming – The The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Monday that it move forward as part of the second phase of efforts to establish a long-term plan for the management of winter elk foraging areas in the state.
“Through this process, we would like stakeholders to no longer be simply ‘for or against’ the elk feeding grounds,” said Scott Edberg, deputy head of wildlife and elk, team leader of the elk. direction. “We want to engage in discussions that result in collaborative creative ways to manage elk in Northwestern Wyoming. ”
“Game and fish need to manage elk in a way that minimizes disease transmission to livestock and between elk and other wildlife. Other primary goals of Game and Fish include reducing damage to private property, maintaining publicly funded elk population goals and hunting opportunities, while managing competition between elk and other species like mule deer in critical wintering habitats.
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The ministry plans to hold weekly meetings on feeding zone issues starting this month, as it works to present a first draft of the feeding zone management plan for public review in June 2022.
“Revisions to the draft plan will be made based on public and stakeholder feedback,” Game and Fish said. “Ultimately, it is expected that the long-term management plan for elk feeding areas will be submitted to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for approval in the spring of 2023.”
The whole process started in the fall of 2020.
“In Phase I, the public presentations focused on the ‘why’ of elk foraging areas exploited by game and fish,” said Edberg. “Phase II is designed to have more in-depth engagement with various stakeholder groups on the management of elk foraging areas. ”
The second phase began this summer with Game and Fish hosting a series of town halls around the state. These meetings aimed to engage members of the public as stakeholders in the process.
“Stakeholder groups include agriculture / landowners, government officials / elected officials, athletes, non-governmental organizations, hunting outfitters and guides, the general public and academics,” Game and Fish said. “A list of stakeholders and their associated focus groups can be found on the Elk Feedgrounds – A Challenge We Can Take On website.”
Following this fall’s meetings, Game and Fish will hold more in-depth meetings in February 2022 “with an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide feedback to Game and Fish.”
“Within their stakeholder focus groups, participants will be invited to share their views, concerns and creative ideas in an open and respectful manner with members of the feeding grounds management team. departmental elk for use in developing the long-term management plan for elk foraging areas. said the department.
The department offers more information on its Elk Feedgrounds – A challenge we can take on the website.