WPR News
8:59 am
Wed February 15, 2006

Feedgrounds Focus of Lawsuit

Bozeman, MT – Wyoming's winter elk feeding program is the target of a new lawsuit. Three conservation groups say the program unnaturally concentrates elk on feed-grounds, creating a greater risk of disease. Brucellosis already occurs at high levels among feed-ground elk. And the groups worry about the westward spread of chronic wasting disease, which scientists believe could infect 50% of feed-ground elk herds. Earthjustice Attorney Tim Preso is representing the environmental groups. Preso says the focus of the lawsuit is feeding, in general, and the state's experimental test-and-slaughter program. The Wyoming Outdoor Council, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance name the Forest Service and BLM in their suit. 15 of Wyoming's elk feedgrounds are on federal land. The conservation groups hope their lawsuit forces the federal agencies to conduct environmental reviews of the feeding program and evaluate alternatives.