The one-year special use permit will allow Game and Fish to begin feeding elk in the coming weeks as winter begins. Photo: Buckrail // Nick Sulzer

WYOMING — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission received authorization this week from the U.S. Forest Service to maintain elk feeding operations at the Dell Creek Feedground for 2021/2022 winter.

The one-year special use permit will allow Game and Fish to begin feeding elk in the coming weeks as winter begins. 

“We’re grateful to the Bridger-Teton National Forest for their partnership to continue elk feedground operations at Dell Creek,” said Rick King, chief of wildlife. “This feedground location is crucial to mitigate brucellosis disease concerns and maintain elk populations.”

The decision letter from the Bridger-Teton National Forest is available online.

The Dell Creek elk feedground is situated at the northern edge of Sublette County. Over 2020/2021 winter, 529 elk attended the location for supplemental feed. Feeding typically begins at Dell Creek near Nov. 15. Elk have been coming to Dell Creek for over 40 years for supplemental winter feed.

The department is continuing a public process to gather input on Game and Fish’s elk feedgrounds management plan. The elk feedgrounds steering team, charged with developing a long-term feedgrounds management plan for the agency, consists of 13 Game and Fish personnel closely tied to the elk feedgrounds program along with five representatives from partnering federal agencies, which include the National Elk Refuge, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Grand Teton National Park.

Elk have utilized feedgrounds in northwest Wyoming since the early 1900s. Approximately 14,000 elk are supplementally-fed during the winter months on 22 Game and Fish-operated feedgrounds in Teton, Sublette and Lincoln counties. An additional 8,000 elk are fed at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

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Buckrail @ Lindsay

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.