Comments Needed on Winter Elk Management Program
45-Day Comment Period
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
March 20, 2008
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) forlong-term special use authorization for Wyoming Game and Fish Department to use National Forest System land for their Winter Elk Management Programs is available for review. The Bridger-Teton National Forest proposes to continue to authorize the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to use six sites on the Bridger-Teton for their winter elk management programs and to authorize use of one new site. The six existing sites are Alkali Creek, Dog Creek, Fall Creek, Fish Creek, Muddy Creek, and Upper Green River. The new site is Patrol Cabin.
This Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be available for public review and comment for 45-days after Notice of its Availability is published in the Federal Register. Comments will be considered and responded to and a final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will be prepared. After reviewing the FEIS, the public comment, and the agency response to comment, Kniffy Hamilton, the Forest Supervisor of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, will make a decision on the project. A decision concerning this project is expected in May, 2008.
Comments should be sent to:
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Winter Elk Management SUP
PO Box 1888
Jackson, WY 83001
FAX: (307) 739-5010
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please include “Winter Elk Management Programs” in the subject line.
There are 21 state operated feedgrounds in western Wyoming and 12 of the feedgrounds are located on BLM or National Forest System (NFS) lands. Eight feedgrounds are on the Bridger-Teton National Forest including: Alkali Creek, Dell Creek, Dog Creek, Fall Creek, Fish Creek, Forest Park, Muddy Creek, and Upper Green River. Permits for structures and use at Dog Creek, Fall Creek, Fish Creek and Muddy Creek expire in late fall 2008. The permit for Alkali Creek expires in 2011, Dell Creek and Forest Park permits expire in 2016, and the Upper Green River permit has no expiration date.
The Bridger-Teton has issued various permits for structures such as: storage sheds, hay barns, holding pens, fences and corrals to the Wyoming Game and Fish for their feeding operations for many years. The Forest Service and the State of Wyoming have agreed that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has the authority, jurisdiction and responsibility to manage, control and regulate fish and wildlife populations on National Forest System (NFS) lands unless federal law specifically supersedes such authority. Because the Forest Service is not a wildlife management agency, it does not presume to permit the act of feeding elk; however the Forest Service maintains that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs a special use authorization to use NFS lands for their winter elk management programs, including feeding.