Welcome to the National Elk Refuge, administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). The mission of the USFWS is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The National Elk Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the nation's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 150 million acres, 556 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts.
The National Elk Refuge works to provide, preserve, restore, and manage winter habitat for the nationally significant Jackson Elk Herd and habitat for endangered species, birds, fish, and other big game animals, and provide compatible human uses associated with the wildlife and wildlands.
Photo Gallery and Webcams
Click here to view a gallery of photos from the National Elk Refuge. The pictures are stored on the photo-sharing web site "Flickr." The photos are sorted by topic, with each picture having an accompanying caption. Additional photos are occasionally posted; visitors to the site are encouraged to return to the site to look for new photo sets or additional pictures within the various topics.
Webcam at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
(located at and maintained by the Rustic Inn)
News Releases and Refuge Stories
Click here to visit an archive of National Elk Refuge news releases and Refuge stories on a variety of topics.
National Elk Refuge Centennial
The National Elk Refuge celebrated its centennial in 2012.
Click here to view a National Elk Refuge centennial multimedia slide show entitled "Celebrating a Century." (3:30 minutes)
The refuge's primary centennial celebration took place from August 10-12, 2012. Click here to read an article that summarizes the weekend's events, including a centennial ceremony on August 10. Over 50 photos with captions also give an overview and highlights from the centennial weekend. Click here to view the photos on the National Elk Refuge's centennial Flickr site. (Flickr is a photo sharing web site.)
Click here for a Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum on-line exhibit completed in recognition of the refuge's centennial. The on-line exhibit includes historic images from the refuge and Jackson Hole valley.
Comprehensive Conservation Planning
The National Elk Refuge is currently in the development stage of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the National Elk Refuge, scheduled to be completed in 2013.
The Service prepares comprehensive conservation plans for national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts to help fulfill the mission of the Refuge System and manage for the purposes of each refuge and district. These plans address conservation of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats, and describe opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation that are compatible with refuge and district purposes. Click here to read about the USFWS's Division of Refuge Planning and a CCP's purpose and need.
The National Elk Refuge's CCP will set out the management and use of the refuge for 15 years. The Bison and Elk Management Plan completed in 2007 contains goals, objectives, and strategies for managing bison and elk in the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park for 15 years. Therefore, this CCP will not address bison and elk management on the refuge but will cover all other aspects of refuge management including migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, public use, and cultural resources.
Click here for a direct link to a description, documents, and public involvement related to the development of the National Elk Refuge's CCP.