JACKSON, Wyo. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will end the 2022-2023 season supplemental feeding of elk and bison at the National Elk Refuge (Refuge) on Saturday, April 8, 2023. This action is consistent with the Refuge’s 2019 Step-down Plan for Bison and Elk Management (Plan) to incrementally reduce supplemental feeding, in an effort to reduce dependency on supplemental feed and change the winter elk distribution on the Refuge.
The decision on when to end the supplemental feeding season is made in consultation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and is based on several conditions as defined in the Plan, including snowmelt, snowpack, available forage, and elk behavior.
“We are committed to following our Step-down Plan to reduce the reliance of elk and bison on supplemental feeding while working with our community and conservation partners to ensure healthy populations of these species into the future,” said Project Leader Frank Durbian.
Ending supplemental feeding may result in dispersal of elk off the Refuge sooner than a typical spring migration event. The Service understands this could lead to potential wildlife conflicts with livestock producers and urban areas. If members of the public or partners have questions, they are encouraged to contact the National Elk Refuge directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-733-9212.
There are currently an estimated 11,000 elk and 500 bison in Wyoming’s Jackson herds. Approximately 7,000-8,000 elk and 300-500 bison typically spend the winter on the nearly 25,000-acre National Elk Refuge.
Learn more about the National Elk Refuge at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/national-elk.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.
– FWS –