Feedgrounds are necessary

  Dear HCN,

The conservation groups of Wyoming would like to phase out the 23 Wyoming elk feedgrounds (HCN, 4/29/02: Are Wyoming's feedgrounds a hotbed of disease?). Well, I was a member of several of the Wyoming conservation groups as you call them, and I was never asked to support the phaseout of the Wyoming feedgrounds. If we phase out the feedgrounds, the elk population in Wyoming will crash.

The feedgrounds were set up to protect the large populations of elk and to prevent the large swings in population caused by winter death. These feedgrounds have been operating for over 100 years and there have been no large diseases except for brucellosis, which was given to the elk from livestock. By eliminating the feedgrounds you still will not eliminate all disease, because the elk is a herding animal and will travel to winter areas and stay there, if there is an area they can go to.

You cannot have wildlife in a natural state in the mountain valleys as long as the humans are there, and the public doesn't want a token amount of wildlife for them to view. The public lands are multiple-use lands, not the lands of the conservationists and elitists to enjoy and the public to support.

It is now time for the hunters to stand up for the elk, deer and big-game populations and tell all these conservation groups enough is enough.

Dale Gillespie
Rock Springs, Wyoming

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