Elk NetworkNational Elk Refuge Seeks Public Input to Update Bison and Elk Management Plan

General | August 4, 2023

Below is a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the publication of a Notice of Intent to develop an updated Bison and Elk Management Plan and an associated Environmental Impact Statement for managing elk, bison and habitat on the National Elk Refuge. These documents are available for review and public comment through August 31, 2023. The Service is also hosting several in-person and virtual public scoping meetings this month in Jackson, WY on August 21, Pinedale, WY on August 22, and a virtual option on August 23. More information is available on the project webpage.

In 2007, the Service completed the first plan to guide management of bison and elk herds on the National Elk Refuge for a 15-year timeframe. The Service also completed a 5-year Step-down Plan in 2019 to reduce supplemental feeding on the refuge. Updates to the management plan seek to address newly available scientific information and changed conditions since adoption of the original management plan. New conditions include the detection of chronic wasting disease in the Jackson area. The updated management plan will also set new desired conditions, management goals, objectives and strategies to guide future management of bison and elk on the refuge.

The Service is working closely with Tribes, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and others to update the plan as the Jackson elk and bison herds migrate across several jurisdictional boundaries.

The documents associated with this announcement are available in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted beginning August 1, 2023, through August 31, 2023, via the following methods:

  • Online: https://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R6-NWRS-2023-0062.
  • or by U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R6-NWRS-2023-0062; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. Please note in your submission that your comments are regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Bison and Elk Management Plan.

(Photo credit: Gannon Castle/USFWS)