Temporary Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife Remains in Effect on Allegheny National Forest

In September of 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service signed an order to temporarily restrict wildlife feeding on the Allegheny National Forest. The restriction remains in effect and applies to activities on National Forest System lands. The order prohibits feeding wildlife or laying or placing any food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt, or other minerals on the Allegheny National Forest.

“We thank everyone for their continued cooperation with the prohibition on feeding wildlife. With your help, we can stop or slow the spread of threats like chronic wasting disease that could have a negative impact on wildlife populations, forest ecosystems, our hunting heritage, and our regional economy,” said, Forest Supervisor Jamie Davidson. 

Feeding wild deer can amplify the transmission of diseases like CWD and result in long-term habitat destruction, increased vehicle collisions, habituation to humans, alteration of normal behavioral patterns, and poses risks to other wildlife. Choosing not to concentrate wild deer through feeding represents a shift in people’s wildlife stewardship ideal. “Supplemental feeding of wildlife was once viewed as beneficial during winter months. However, studies show that though counterintuitive, supplemental feeding is usually unnecessary, can be harmful to individual animals, and can negatively impact whole populations, especially white-tailed deer,” said Forest Ecologist Collin Shephard.

In total, forest staff reached out to several hundred potentially interested individuals, organizations, and agencies for comment on the original proposal to restrict wildlife feeding on the Forest. All comments were considered in the decision to proceed with a temporary closure of wildlife feeding on the Allegheny National Forest. Overall, comments were supportive of implementing a feeding ban. 

To view the supporting documents for this decision, please visit the ANF website at: Forest Service (usda.gov). To view the closure order please visit Allegheny National Forest – Alerts & Notices (usda.gov).

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Officer Christopher Leeser at 814-728-6281, or 4 Farm Colony Drive, Warren, PA 16365.