A bull elk makes his way through deep snow. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WYOMING — The public comment period is now open for the Dell Creek and Forest Park feedground’s long-term special use permit. Bridger-Teton National Forest will prepare the environmental impact statement.

The EIS will analyze the winter elk management activities the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed for Forest Park Feedground in Lincoln County, Wyoming near Afton, and for Dell Creek Feedground in Sublette County, near Bondurant, Wyoming.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) has applied for continued use of facilities on National Forest System lands to conduct their elk management activities, including providing hay to wintering elk at Dell Creek and Forest Park feedgrounds between mid-November to the end of April. The Forest Service will determine whether to authorize the requested long-term use and if so, under what conditions.

The project proposes to allow Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to utilize National Forest System land for their winter elk feeding operations in order to maintain population objectives and control elk distribution in an effort to minimize conflicts with human land uses.

“The proposed action will be considered along with an alternative that phases-out feeding,” said Tricia O’Connor, Forest Supervisor for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

A 30-day comment period began yesterday, Jan. 14. Additional details regarding the proposed project have been posted on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website.

“Hearing from the public during the comment period is crucial to the planning effort,” said O’Connor. “The public comments will also be essential for inclusion in relevant design features in the proposed action and alternatives —the next step in the process.”

Comments submitted will help to develop alternatives and conduct appropriate analysis. Scoping comments can be submitted electronically through this link. Please identify your comments on the subject line as Elk Feedground EIS. Comments are requested by February 14, 2022.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.