In a state overrun with disease spreading feedlots for wintertime elk feeding, we would think Wyoming doesn’t need more, but they seem to be slowly establishing yet a new one. This is in the Buffalo Valley, a very sensitive spot from standpoint of wildlife and Grand Teton National Park.

The Buffalo Valley is a scenic, and deep snow, side valley near the north end of Jackson Hole. It is one of the places where moose have continued to hold out as Wyoming’s moose population continues to slide. It bounds both Grand Teton National Park to its west and the national forest’s Teton Wilderness to its north.

The area has had quite a few wolf packs, including some that live most of the time inside Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton National Parks. Because Wyoming has said they are going to shot wolves this disrupt elk feedground operations (makes it hard for those who pitch the hay), this new feedlot could be a significant source of human mortality of Park-based wolf packs.

Here is the sad story.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Wyoming Game and Fish is creating a new elk feedlot under guise of "emergency"

  1. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Jackson Hole outfitters and landowners, whose mantra is “a bale of hay is worth an acre of habitat” (yes, you heard right) have been pushing for a feedground in the Buffalo Fork for many years. There is of course no rational reason for feeding in the Buffalo Fork, and many rational reasons against feeding. so G&F has resisted this demand for many years.

    However, given the example of the 22 other state feedgrounds west of the Continental Divide, all of which exist due to landowner demands to keep elk off private property, given the absurd outfitter belief that feedgrounds are their very own game farms, and given existing Orwellian brucellosis politics, where feedgrounds are justified by claiming they prevent elk from infecting cattle with brucellosis (yes, you heard right), feeding in the Buffalo Fork has become a lot easier.

    The Buffalo Fork is a major migration corridor for the Jackson Elk Herd between summer range in the Teton Wilderness and the Togwotee Pass area and the National Elk Refuge. However, some (not much) winter range has traditionally existed in the Buffalo Fork, chiefly in the valley bottom but also on south facing slopes. With generally milder winters in Jackson Hole, much opportunity exists to create winter range in the Buffalo Fork as well as the Gros Ventre, but the feeding mentality blocks this opportunity.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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