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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Jackson's National Elk Refuge to Host Open House and Draft Environmental Assessment Public Comment Period for Replacement Visitor Center

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2021

JACKSON, Wyo. – Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a public comment period on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed replacement Visitor Center on the National Elk Refuge (Refuge). The 30-day public comment period will be from September 21 through October 20, 2021. The Refuge will also host an outdoor Open House on September 29 and 30 to introduce the draft plans to the community and answer questions about the proposed project.

Architectural rendering of a modern building of two stories with flat, L-shaped roof and solar panels sits in a flat landscape with mountains in the distance.
Conceptual design of the future National Elk Refuge Visitor Center. Image by MITHUN Design.

The proposal would construct a new Visitor Center just north of the existing 7,500 square foot Visitor Center. The new replacement facility would be larger to better accommodate increasing visitor use, provide an accessible experience, and improve operational efficiency. The completely redesigned Visitor Center would include indoor and outdoor components and will enable the Service to reach a more diverse audience, both within the local community and among the millions of national and international visitors to the Jackson Hole area each year. The Service’s goal is to create a welcoming space where new audiences can be introduced to the Refuge, to opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, to the Refuge’s role in providing wildlife habitat, and to the broader conservation goals of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The replacement Visitor Center would physically and symbolically serve as the front door of the Service within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

The Refuge has prepared the draft EA to evaluate effects associated with the proposed replacement Visitor Center and seeks public comment. The Refuge will host an Open House in Murie Family Park at 532 N. Cache St. Jackson, Wyoming 83001 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 29 and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on September 30. The comment period for the draft EA will run from September 21 through October 20. A copy of the draft EA and supporting documents can be found on the Refuge website at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/national_elk_refuge/. Comments can be submitted by email to: NationalElkRefugeVisitorCenter@fws.gov or by mail to: Frank Durbian, National Elk Refuge, P.O. Box 510, Jackson, WY 83001.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen in the West, visit our website, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Raena Parsons, Vistor Services Manager
(307) 201-5433

Jessica Sutt, Public Affairs Specialist
(239) 238-3621

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: September 27, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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