Flip Chart Comments from March 10, 2001, Public Meeting
1. Planning Process/Public Involvement (full audience discussion)
- Process Suggestions (General)
- Learn from past processes
- Explain terminology (esp. NEPA)
- Realistic goal definition
- Alternative development early on
- Include national input/influence
- Field trips/orientation (NER every Wednesday and Saturday 8am contact 733-9212)
- Include Idaho
- Round table discussions (not just agencies)
- Dates set up ASAP for topic meetings
- Facilitated problem definition (do study before desired future conditions are determined and compare with after)
- Cluster meetings to facilitate travelers
- Small table/group facilitation
- Involve older generation/historic perspective
- Information Needs (Pre-scoping/Scoping)
- History of management/ past decisions
- Influence of NER/GTNP decisions on Jackson herd
- Clarification of historical range/location of migration/winter feeding areas
- Agency roles, participation, etc Mission/Purpose/USFWS Rules
- Why EIS involves GTNP/NER (scope)
- Discussion on use of ecosystem management in agency mandates
- Scope of Analysis (boundaries)
- Timeframe for Alternative Development
- Local vs. National Input
- Info on current predation on elk/bison
- Newest Brucellosis info
- Population dynamics/actual numbers of animals
- Current carrying capacity of land (not animal specific)
- Bison herd objectives how were they set
1.3 Information Needs (Alternative Development)
- Habitat not just for elk/bison (i.e. grazing)
- Influence of fences/boundaries
- Cultural impacts (tribal treaties, etc)
- Benefits/Impacts (+/-) to other species from supplemental feeding (flora/fauna)
- Pro/Cons of status quo
- Threats to game farms from TB
- Projected mortality if stop feeding
- Irrigation impacts on NER habitat
- Maximization of forage on NER
- Impacts of discontinued feeding (social, economic, etc)
- MOUs/agreements are honored that relate to numbers
- Include wildlife viewpoint
1.4 Suggestions for Topical Meetings
- Migration Corridors
- Winter Feeding/Habitat
- Bison/Elk Population
- Planning Process
- History/Mission/Past Decisions (handled through written report
2. Information Needs (small group discussions)
- How much will it cost to increase forage production to accommodate the bison population that will exist on the Refuge by the time the EIS process is complete.
(Cost of irrigation improvements, etc)?
- Why did the Refuge only request Ό of the funding needs required for sprinkler system/irrigation needs?
2.2 Winter Feeding
- Where is the 75% loss of habitat?
- What is the impact (+/-) of feeding on elk/bison?
- What is carrying capacity?
- What is the process to analyze these questions?
- Is there available winter range and what are cumulative effects on summering wildlife?
- Are there competing interests for forage? (livestock and horses)
- No FEED, No ELK
- Need detailed study of impacts of not feeding on elk population, in similar environment low temperature/high snow levels.
- Actual traced cases of wildlife transmitting brucellosis to cattle
- Testing positive vs. active, numbers, actual percentages (how has feeding affected rates?
- Co-mingling/problem or not?
- Role of APHIS in THIS planning process? At a later point? Or earlier for education?
- If stop feeding, how will infection rate change?
- What would a habitat-based approach to management do to numbers/rates?
- East of Continental Divide rate vs. West side (brucellosis and other disease): provide info? Confidence in data gathered and gathering efforts going forward?
- Topic: OTHER diseases, parasites, etc. affecting herd health should be adequately covered (NOT just brucellosis). Include management strategies, what is still needed?
Concerns over APHIS and their regulations; whats their authority with regard to this Plan? Need this information early on.
- Topic: A GOOD Risk Assessment with management strategies/alternatives outlined. Currently "Vigilant surveillance" BUT move forward!
- Vaccination information: what/delivery/efficacy "Be proactive, not reactive"
- Topic: Need information on change transmission in wildlife; bison are a greater threat as they calve at other times of the year.
- Need results of milk cultures for brucellosis (i.e. milk transmission as source)
- Effects of high density on immune competence
- Effects of a well feel elk are less susceptible to disease
- Rates of fetus longevity (infectivity) on feedline?
2.4 Bison Population
- What is the history of bison they were enclosed originally, why not continue?
- With the growth of the bison herd, what will be the effects on elk and habitat (environment/forage)?
- Map of herd population (historically and future)
- Issue safety of people
- History of Elk Refuge re: bison mission and policy (purpose takes precedence over mission) (GRTE and NER Organic Act)
- Rationale for determining herd size
- Issue more education leads to lowered risk
- Define Native American interest and regulations for allocation of live/dead bison
- Vaccination results
- Is the NPS willing to help pay for feeding?
- Interim solutions update courts about actual population growth; steps to ensure "wild" quality of herd
- Historical/archeological data on bison pre-existence
- Issue NER for elk only - legislative reason?
- Meeting: provide info, provide facilitation, round table, other agencies (i.e. APHIS, USFS)
- Solutions: identify goals, costs of bison management (elk) in NER and GTNP
2.5 Elk Population