Meetings for Phase 2 of the WGFD feedgrounds management plan will begin next week. The WGFD has coined the phrase: "A Challenge We Can Take On" to describe their approach to discussing feedgrounds. It is a challenge we can take on and isn't impossible to phase out feedgrounds. But we cannot go about it thinking that feedgrounds are the best management regime we have available to us. Every other state has robust elk populations without feedgrounds. Wyoming can too.

Kristin Combs, executive director of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, said Game and Fish's plan for feedgrounds needs to be aligned with the agency's mandate to protect wildlife and their habitat for the entire public, not just a narrow set of stakeholders.

"While wildlife issues are people issues too," Combs contended. "And certainly there are people issues involved with feedgrounds, and that's why this is a very contentious issue. We also need to be looking at 'what is best for the elk here?'"

Tuesday, July 27 Laramie
Wednesday, July 28 Rock Springs
Thursday, July 29 Casper
Tuesday, August 3 Afton
Wednesday, August 4 Pinedale
Thursday, August 5 Jackson

All meetings will be in person and start at 6:00pm.


1. Canada Goose goes fur free! After public pressure from wildlife and animal advocacy groups, Canada Goose, makers of luxury winter coats, will no longer use fur trim on their jackets. This will save the lives of coyotes and end suffering for many as the use of fur continues to decline and more and more designer labels and stores go fur-free. We see these coats all over Jackson in the winter and will be happy to know that no longer will coyotes suffer so someone can have designer trim on a piece of clothing.

2 Maryland bans wildlife killing contests. Maryland becomes the eighth state to ban these horrific and unnecessary events. Maryland residents were outraged after an undercover investigation in the state showed countless red foxes, coyotes, and raccoons being slung into piles with their mouths zip tied and bodies riddled with bullets. As people learn more about wildlife killing contests, we hope to see other states follow suit soon until we can get a national ban on them coast to coast.

According to several social media posts, Felicia and her cubs have still been seen intermittently and are staying away from the road. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting hazing when necessary to keep her conditioned to be fearful of the road and cars. Crowds continue to stay small and dispersed as well.

This situation has brought up many questions about the future of bear management in Wyoming outside the parks and where we go from here. We convened a meeting of organizations interested in bear management to discuss what programs are currently in existence, what programs need to be revamped, and what new programs and projects can be implemented to keep bears safe when roaming outside the parks. This isn't a short-term problem and will continue to be a challenge we will have to strive to meet head-on. Bears deserve better from us and certainly deserve to be able to roam in wild areas like Jackson Hole. It's going to take a collaborative effort by many organizations and agencies to be successful.

The Upper Green has been a sink for grizzlies for years. Any grizzlies and wolves that find their way there are either killed or relocated. This is an unsustainable practice. Increasingly, we are seeing conflicts in a few areas and relegated to a few livestock producers. It's time to come up with long-term solutions or get the non-native livestock off of these public lands and let them be used for wildlife.

Retired grazing allotments are currently under review to be reopened. Proponents of the measure say this will allow cattle to be moved around to prevent conflicts. However, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association is pushing for up to 725 more calf-cow pairs to graze there (a total of 1,450 more cows).

So far, it isn't looking promising for more cattle to be stocked, but it's an option that is still on the table. This option is one that is likely to lead to more cattle deaths and certainly more grizzly deaths. These allotments were bought out to protect bighorn sheep but have served to provide a refuge for grizzlies and wolves as well.

The Forest Service has taken comments on the scoping notice for this action, but is not planning on allowing public comments on an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. We have signed onto a letter drafted by Western Watersheds Project to ask that the Forest Service is transparent during this process and allows the public to weigh in.

Already this year, several bears have been killed or relocated due to livestock conflicts including a bear that killed cows north of Pinedale last week.

With little fanfare, few questions, and no emotion, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission set wolf hunting quotas at 47 for the 2021 season that begins September 14. Many wolves just born this year won't live to see their first birthday. Life expectancy for a Wyoming wolf is incredibly low.

Building on the knowledge that we have about wolf behavior and how leaving a non-depredating pack in tact, new research shows that dispersing members of wolf packs often adopt the behavior of their parent pack. The research followed dispersing members of wolf packs in Germany that made their way into the Netherlands. Whether or not wolves preyed upon livestock or had interactions with humans relied on whether they had come from packs that engaged in those activities. This is further evidence that conflicts can be reduced by leaving non-depredating packs in place and/or training wolf packs through aversive conditioning to avoid livestock and humans. Randomly killing wolves through hunting upsets this dynamic along with other social and biological aspects of wolf packs.

Monthly Book Recommendation

Using personal stories, recounting how he came to love and depend on the Great Outdoors and how he learned his place in the system of nature, Chadwick challenges anyone to consider whether they are separate from or part of nature.

The answer is obvious, that we are an indivisible from all elements of a system that is greater than ourselves and should never be neglected, taken advantage of, or exploited. This is a fresh and engaging take on man’s relationship to nature by a respected and experienced author.

"I kept going out to watch grizzlies in my spare time. I didn't think much about why. Although I hoped to understand more about their behavior and the obstacles to their survival, the main draw for me was witnessing their indomitably wild spirit - one that, after more than a century of persecution, still reared up to say the hell with you two-leggeds and your whole tamed-down, fenced in, crowded-up version of progress."

You all absolutely floored us with your generosity during WyoGives. On behalf of the wildlife of Wyoming, thank you to all who donated on this day to support our work. We raised $13,200 and there are more matching funds to come. Special thanks to the Hughes Charitable Foundation for their $1,000,000 match for all Wyoming organizations, Blue Cross of Wyoming for their matching funds, and a donor who matched $3,000 of your donations to WWA. And of course thank you to the Wyoming Nonprofit Network for organizing WyoGives.
Photos credits (in order of appearance):
Bugling Elk: Rob Phillips
Gazing Wolf: Arthur Lefo
Black Wolf: Andrew Sanders
Teton Moose: Tristan Adler
Yellowstone Wolf: Devon Pradhuman