Brief Filed to Save the Iconic Jackson Elk Herd from Chronic Wasting Disease

Last week, on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, Sierra Club, Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, and the Gallatin Wildlife Association, we filed a legal brief asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming to invalidate a U.S. Forest Service special use permit that allows the State of Wyoming to artificially feed the Jackson elk herd on federal public lands in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that the practice of artificial feeding concentrates elk in unnaturally dense congregations and thereby increases the rate of disease spread and transmission among elk—including of the lethal Chronic Wasting Disease that is approximately forty miles from this iconic and culturally important elk herd—the Forest Service authorized artificial feeding through 2028 without examining whether it should instead eliminate or phase out the practice before Chronic Wasting Disease is introduced into this herd.  Thus, we have asked the court to set aside the special use permit allowing this activity until and unless the Forest Service takes a hard look at its contribution to the introduction and spread of this lethal disease and considers reasonable alternatives to artificial feeding that would mimic natural conditions while providing sustainable forage for this wildlife population.  The brief can be found here.