Two weeks ago our case against the Department of the Interior was heard by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Managing attorney Tim Preso of EarthJustice presented arguments on behalf of us and Defenders of Wildlife. The case argues that Grand Teton National Park improperly allows hunting on inholdings within the park. Inholdings are privately held parcels of land within the boundary of the park. For nearly 60 years, the park had authority over hunting within its borders including on the inholdings. However, after a wolf was killed for chasing livestock in 2014 (on inholding in photo above), the park arbitrarily changed it's policy and allowed Wyoming to have authority over hunting within the park on inholdings. This compromises the integrity of the National Park land as a sanctuary for wildlife and especially puts wolves at risk now that they are no longer offered protection in Wyoming.

“The National Park Service arbitrarily opened the door to authorizing hunting in one of our crown jewel national parks,” argued Earthjustice attorney Timothy Preso before the court.

This case has huge implications for hunting of animals that are not protected in the state such as porcupines, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and more. It has further implications for both wolves and grizzlies. If grizzlies are delisted, then they can also be considered for hunting within these inholdings including familiar roadside bears like 399.

We will continue to fight for wildlife throughout Wyoming and within one of our most incredible national parks. We intend to make sure all our wildlife is safe within the national park including those given no protection from the state.

Kristin Combs
Executive Director

ACTION ALERT! US Forest Service Decision
In response to our lawsuit, the Bridger-Teton National Forest has determined that it will allow the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to continue feeding in "emergency situations" for five years while they make plans to phase out feeding on the Alkali Feedground. What constitutes an "emergency situation" has yet to be defined. While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn't go far enough to phase out feedground use quickly enough and prolongs the phasing out of this feedground for potentially up to another 10 years. Further, it doesn't require the Forest Service to complete a comprehensive environmental assessment of the Alkali Feedground and other feedgrounds on Forest Service land as stated in the court decision. The permit also states that feeding will begin if elk are causing problems for private landowners. The health of our wildlife shouldn't be put after the profits for private industry. Other states require ranchers to fence out wildlife and protect their feed stores. Wyoming should do the same.

Forest Service scoping letter for 5-year permit here .
Submit comments here by October 18 .

ACTION ALERT! Environmental Assessment for the elk and bison feeding step-down plan just released - now open for public comment
Thanks to a lawsuit brought by several conservation groups, the National Elk Refuge has finally released its Environmental Assessment for their step-down plan to reduce feeding of elk and bison on the refuge. You have the chance to comment until October 30.

For more information on the plan and National Refuge System Improvement Act, visit this site here .

Click here to view the draft Environmental Assessment.
Click here to view Bison and Elk Management Step-down Plan.

Submit comments by sending an email to this address .

Earlier this month, CWD was found in a mule deer in hunt area 152. This area contains the South Park, Horse Creek and Camp Creek Feedgrounds. It borders both the Dell Creek and Dog Creek Feedgrounds and abuts the south end of the National Elk Refuge. CWD has now been found to the north and south of the Elk Refuge. Prions are being shed by CWD positive deer wherever they roam.

CWD Working Group
The chronic wasting disease working group organized by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department met for a final time last month and has now released their recommendations for the state CWD management plan. As expected, the group was unable to come to a consensus on the most controversial topics including feedgrounds with some in the group in opposition to any changes to the current paradigm. Public comments will be taken on the plan in December. We will be sure to let you know when and where the meetings will take place and where to send your comments.

Read their recommendations here .

Mortality for Grizzly Bears 2019
So far in 2019, 25 grizzly bears have been killed in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Of those, 82% have been from conflicts with livestock and humans including four listed as "under investigation." Many more bears have been relocated including what is likely one of 399's cubs during a difficult time where bears are trying to find food. Keep track of mortality by visiting this site from the USGS.

WWA, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, the Wyoming Chapter of the Sierra Club, Predator Defense, and Wyoming Untrapped are sponsoring a showing of the film Lethal Control on October 17 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The film confronts the legacy of federal wildlife poisoning campaigns and specifically the use of M-44 sodium cyanide bombs on our nation’s public lands. It depicts the public safety risk by telling the stories of people injured by these M-44s. 

What : Free film and discussion about the threat of M-44 cyanide bombs on our public lands
Where : National Museum of Wildlife Art, 2820 Rungius Road, Jackson, WY 
When : Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) 

After the film, join us for a panel discussion with representatives from the sponsoring organizations and the Mansfield Family from Pocatello who were victims of a cyanide bomb placed by Wildlife Services near their home.

Our informal survey of attendees who were at Old Bill's run day showed that people want to see bears and wolves. People could vote on the animals they want to see and on the animals they actually do see. Out of 123 participants, 64% want to see wolves and bears when they visit the National Parks but only 4% of people actually see them. The animals that are most seen are bison, elk and deer.
Temperatures are dropping.

Stay warm and make a statement with one of WWA's hoodies or sweatshirts