Refuge announces contingency plan for operations

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Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell has announced a contingency plan for operations if a spending bill is not approved by January 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm (ET). 


January 19, 2018 (NER 18-01)

As of 4:00 pm (MST), a short-term continuing resolution or other change in appropriation status that would avoid a lapse in federal government funding has not been resolved. Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell has announced a contingency plan for operations if a spending bill is not approved by January 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm (ET). 

Programs and services on the National Elk Refuge that would be temporarily suspended include:

  • The Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson, will remain closed until further notice. This includes the postponement of any scheduled educational programs at the facility. General travel and area information will be available from the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce’s main office at 260 W. Broadway or their satellite location in the Home Ranch Welcome Center, located at 210 N. Cache Street. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce can also be reached at (307) 733-3316. 
  • The National Elk Refuge’s web site at www.fws.gov/refuge/National_Elk_Refuge will not be updated in the interim and may be temporarily taken off-line. Refuge staff will not be posting to social media sites.

The following public access opportunities will be available if there is a lapse in appropriations:

  • Wildlife viewing sleigh rides, offered by a private contractor through the Grand Teton Association, will continue to operate as scheduled from 10:00 am through 4:00 pm daily. Ticket sales and shuttle bus service to the sleigh boarding area will be temporarily relocated to the Home Ranch Welcome Center, located at 210 N. Cache Street. The Home Ranch Welcome Center, one block north of Jackson’s Town Square, is adjacent to the Town of Jackson’s Home Ranch parking lot. More information on sleigh rides is available by calling (307) 733-0277. 
  • Sleigh riders are encouraged to continue parking at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, two blocks north of the Home Ranch Welcome Center, and walk to the temporary sleigh ride ticket sales location. This will help alleviate congestion at the Home Ranch parking lot, which serves as one of the Town of Jackson’s primary downtown parking lots. Additionally, the Home Ranch parking lot is served by several of Teton County’s public bus service lines. The START bus schedule, routes, and fares can be viewed at www.startbus.com.
  • The Refuge Road will remain open as a travel corridor and access road to private lands. A Winter Wildlife Viewing Guide for travelers on the Refuge Road or North Highway 89/191 overlooks provides key information to minimize harm to wildlife and will also be available at the Home Ranch Welcome Center at 210 N. Cache Street.
  • Bison hunting on the National Elk Refuge will continue as scheduled through January 31, 2018. Hunters will be allowed into Refuge hunt areas if they have a current permit and valid matching license. Questions related to bison hunting can be directed to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Jackson Office at 420 N. Cache Street or (307) 733-2321.