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Editor:

We in Wyoming know the joy that our outdoors bring to our communities. Hunting and ranching aside, wildlife watching is a cherished pastime and a cornerstone of our local economies, as the grizzly bears, wolves, elk and deer of the Greater Yellowstone region draw millions of visitors from around the world every year.

Now, it is time for us to protect the wildlife we love. Wyoming’s deer and elk populations are facing the threat of collapse and they need our help.

Every year, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission herds elk together in 22 cramped feedlots, encouraging the rapid spread of diseases like chronic wasting disease (CWD), which has no cure. Not only is CWD fatal in every single case, but it can also persist in the surrounding plants and soil for years. It is up to us to warn the state against the danger of their practices.

Time is running out. Wyoming must eliminate these high-risk feedlots and return our great outdoors to its natural state. Protecting elk and deer winter ranges and migration routes on one hand, and restoring the populations of predators like gray wolves on the other hand, will do exactly this. If we act now, we can maintain the beauty of our outdoors for generations to come.

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DEBRA PARK, Casper 

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