2008 SFW"Hay Day"Update November 21, 2008
Dear Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife Members and Friends,
Once again WY SFW is going to hold its annual "Hay Day" event in Jackson, Wyoming.
The message of "Hay Day" has resonated loud and clear at the National Elk Refuge. Under new management, the refuge has changed feeding practices much to the benefit of the Jackson elk herd. As most of you are aware, the last two years the National Elk Refuge has accepted our certified weed-free hay. The new refuge manager has acknowledged its beneficial use. It was estimated that in 2007 our hay was used to delay the onset of the supplemental feeding program by 6 days. The maximum average ration of pellets fed last year was approximately 50 tons and at a cost of $165/ton. Thus, some the many accomplishments of the 2007 SFW's "Hay Day" event were that it shortened the length of time that elk/bison needed to receive Government Issue supplemental feed and saved approximately $49,500 dollars in feed costs. Unfortunately, a new law suit brought by radical environmental groups determined to stop all elk feeding, has threatened the refuge's ability to accept our hay this year. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department is responsible to provide half the feed on the National Elk Refuge in addition to all the feed on 22 state feed grounds. Thus, the G&F has the ability to hold our hay while the environmentalist created mess is sorted out on the refuge, and then allocate the hay where ever it can best support the Jackson elk herd. Therefore, SFW will be giving our certified weed-free hay to the WY G&F Department.
Studies have shown that, without feeding programs, 70-80% of Jackson Hole's elk would die of starvation. These sue happy radicals are some of the same groups that have sued to prevent wolf and grizzly delisting. They obviously continue seeking to increase wolf and grizzly numbers and distribution, much to the detriment of elk. Clearly these groups are no friends to certain wildlife and sustainable hunting. It is hard to imagine what they think the predators will eat when the elk are gone. Their real objective appears to be that of undoing all that has been accomplished in the last 100 years of sportsmen driven conservation efforts.
Now more than ever we need to rally sportsmen to this event.
We must send a very strong message that we firmly stand behind responsible wildlife management and recognize the importance of providing supplemental feed when adequate winter range is no longer available to sustain wildlife for the duration of winter. We have already sent a loud and clear message that we will not sit by idly and watch our wildlife starve and the refuge has responded by making adjustments to how their supplemental feeding program is administered. The Wyoming Game & Fish has long recognized the limitations of our winter range in the Jackson Hole area to sustain wild ungulates throughout an often long and cold winter. Arrangements have been made to ensure that our hay will used to feed elk, in the most beneficial manner the law will allow, whether on the refuge or on state run elk feed grounds.
Therefore, I urge each of you to mark your calendar and reserve your hotel rooms for WY SFW's Third Annual Hay Day Event. It is to occur on December 6th, 2008. (Please see info below) We will be meeting at the Teton County Fair Grounds, located at 304 West Snow King Avenue, Jackson, WY. WY SFW will be holding some games for the youth in attendance as well as though adults which are still young at heart. The laser shot system will be available for some fun action as well as some fun games to entertain attendees while trucks are being loaded, etc. and we prepare for our procession through the town of Jackson. Games and fun are scheduled to start around 9:00 am and conclude around noon. WY SFW will then host a short presentation explaining the purpose and intent of our annual "Hay Day" event to those in attendance. At the conclusion, a procession will form and we will deliver our hay as we send our message to the world that sportsmen continue to stand in support of elk feeding programs while a limited few still seem determined to destroy our hard earned heritage and decimate the great elk herds of Jackson Hole.
This event should conclude with enough time for those interested in attending the Utah FNAWS event in Layton, UT to still be able to participate. If you need additional information, please let me know and I will be happy to provide you with it.
Thanks for all of your continued support. Your efforts to ensure that sportsmen have a voice and are heard have helped us to achieve the impossible.
Respectfully, Robert A. Wharff
Executive DirectorWyoming Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 1635