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.
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. 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.
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