U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Elk Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge

Vast numbers of elk feed in the snow on the National Elk Refuge in front of the snow-capped Grand Teton Mountains.
P.O. Box 510
Jackson, WY   83001
E-mail: nationalelkrefuge@fws.gov
Phone Number: 307-733-9212
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Thousands of elk spend the winter at the National Elk Refuge.
Gray horizontal line
Continued . . .

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, as more people settled in Jackson Hole, homesteads, cattle, fences, and farming had encroached on traditional elk migration pathways and wintering areas. Severe winters, reduced elk forage, and decreased habitat contributed to the starvation deaths of thousands of elk in Jackson Hole. While homesteaders and other locals needed to protect their domestic cattle herds and haystacks, they still wanted to have large, healthy elk herds in the valley.

As a result of persistent action by Jackson Hole residents, the State of Wyoming, and the U.S. Congress, the National Elk Refuge was established in 1912 to provide a protected wintering ground of 1,760 acres for the elk. Today, the Refuge encompasses nearly 25,000 acres.

- Back -