Summer Haying Project Saves Wyoming Game & Fish $21K
In an effort to improve elk forage and save on winter feeding costs, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says it has implemented a summer haying project at two of its Jackson area Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs). The Game and Fish put up a total of 146 tons of grass hay at the South Park and Horse Creek WHMAs this summer. Jackson Game and Fish Habitat and Access Coordinator, Matt Miller, estimates that given current hay prices, the Game and Fish has saved approximately $21,000 in hay costs.
Miller noted that they've wanted to try a haying practice for some time, but didn't know if it would make sense economically. The board of the Teton Conservation District (TCD) stepped in and voted to provide cost share monies to Game and Fish to implement the conservation practice.
I'm of the opinion that I'd like to see tangible results for a dollar spent. To me it doesn't get more tangible than providing good forage for those elk.
-TCD board member, Bob Lucas
All the hay was cut, baled and stacked by July 20th and will be fed out to elk at the Horse Creek feedground. The Game and Fish has set up a monitoring program to measure the benefits of the new program. Miller observed that so far the program seems to have been a positive effort and plans to continue, if not expand, the program next year. The hope is to continue the partnership with the TCD into the future.
Obviously, we really appreciate the funding we received from the Teton Conservation District, which really made this happen. We plan to take that money and put it towards either paying a haying contractor next year or buying equipment for our own personnel to use.