Bridger-Teton announces Elk Feedground Environmental Analysis
30-day public comment period open on the project
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
January 14, 2022
January 14, 2022— The Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Bridger-Teton National Forest to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) was published in the Federal Register on January, 14, 2022, announcing the start of the public comment period for the Dell Creek and Forest Park Feedgrounds: Long-Term Special Use Permit project EIS. The EIS will analyze the winter elk management activities the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has proposed for Forest Park Feedground in Linclon 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 area includes:
(1) Dell Creek - 35 acres, which includes two hay storage sheds, 8 foot high woven fence, water well, portable tack shed, elk trap, and a corral (Map 1).
(2) Forest Park - 100 acres, which includes 0.25 miles of road with one culvert, a bridge across Grey's River, a fenced stack yard, two hay sheds, an elk trap, corrals, 24 ft. x 38 ft. cabin (with a propane tank and pole fence to house a winter elk feeder), an outhouse, and a spring collection tank with approximately 900 ft. of open¬ended plastic pipe (Map 2). 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.
The Notice of Intent (NOI) provides a description of the project’s purpose and need as well as the actions proposed to address those needs. It also announces the opening of the 30-day public comment period and the methods by which people can provide public comments.
"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."
The publishing of the NOI in the Federal Register begins a 30-day comment period in which the public can submit comments on the proposed project. Additional details regarding the proposed project have been posted on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=60949.
Comments submitted will help to develop alternatives and conduct appropriate analysis. Scoping comments can be submitted electronically through the project webpage or at this link https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=60949. Please identify your comments on the subject line as Elk Feedground EIS. Comments are requested by February 14, 2022.
For more information or to be placed on the mailing list, please contact Anita DeLong at 307-739-5568 or Anita.DeLong@usda.gov Interested individuals or organizational contacts can self-subscribe to this and other desired mailing lists on the Forest’s webpage, www.fs.usda.gov/land/btnf/landmanagement under Highlights.