REFER TO: DAN HUFF, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, (303) 236-7400, EXT. 238

STEVE IOBST, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2001

AGENCIES ANNOUNCE MEETINGS FOR BISON AND ELK PLAN

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS) are leading development of a management plan/environmental impact statement (EIS) for the bison and elk that utilize the National Elk Refuge (NER) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) near Jackson, WY. These animals are part of the "Jackson Hole Bison and Elk Herds," which comprise the largest concentrations of free-ranging bison and elk in North America - approximately 14,000 elk and 600 bison. Because the animals also use other lands, the FWS and NPS are seeking to implement a cooperative approach to management planning involving all of the associated federal and state agencies and a broad range of organized and private interests. The USDA Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are cooperators and the State of Wyoming and the Bureau of Land Management are partners in the planning effort. The EIS will analyze management options for the NER and GTNP and how those options may impact the missions and interests of all stakeholders.

A series of "pre-scoping" meetings were held in Wyoming locations from February through

May, 2001, to discuss existing conditions, desired futures, and the planning process. Scoping meetings are planned for July 20 through August 3 at the locations listed below. Changes to this schedule will be available on the project website.

For further information, send written comments, and/or requests (including additions to the mailing list) to Don DeLong, Assistant Project Leader, Jackson Bison and Elk Management Planning Office, P.O. Box 510, Jackson, Wyoming 83001, USA, or via email to bison/elk_planning@fws.gov. Please visit the website http://bisonandelkplan.fws.gov.

The project phone number is 307-733-9212 extension 235.