Bridger-Teton announces elk feedground decision
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 19, 2008
Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton of the Bridger-Teton National Forest signed a Record of Decision on July 15, 2008 approving the Wyoming Game and Fish Commissionís (WGFC) continued use of National Forest System lands for feedgrounds at five locations. Those locations include Dog Creek, Fall Creek, Fish Creek, Muddy Creek, and Upper Green River on the Jackson and Pinedale Ranger Districts. These and two other locations (Alkali Creek and Patrol Cabin) were considered and evaluated in a Final Evironmental Impact Statement that is available for review.
WGFC proposed an increase in authorized area at Fish Creek and Patrol Cabin in the Gros Ventre watershed because wolf pressure has affected elk behavior at these feedgrounds and can cause elk from three feedgrounds to congregate at one site.
Forest Supervisor Hamilton decided not to authorize the increased area at Fish Creek and at the Yellowjacket Flat addition to the Patrol Cabin feedground. "I decided not to permit an increase in authorized area at this time because of the environmental effects to vegetation and wildlife habitat that result from this intensive use," Hamilton said.
No decision was made concerning the Coal Mine Draw addition to the Patrol Cabin feedground or the Alkali Creek feedground at this time. "I need more information before I make a decision concerning Alkali Creek Feedground. The Gros Ventre Wilderness boundary is immediately adjacent to the Feedground and it has not been officially located by cadastral survey. I also need a more detailed inventory of vegetation effects inside the Wilderness from the adjacent feeding," Hamilton said. A decision concerning these two areas is expected before the existing authorization for Alkali Creek feedground expires in 2011.
This decision is subject to administrative review. Appeals must be postmarked or received within 45 days of the date of publication of the legal notice in the Casper Star-Tribune. The Final EIS and Record of Decision are available upon request and can also be downloaded from: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf/projects/. For more information, contact District Ranger Greg Clark by phone or email at 307-276-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.