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New Management Plan Addresses Next 15 Years For National Elk Refuge

Daniel Mayer

The National Elk Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have released a new management plan detailing how the refuge will be managed for the next 15 years.

The Comprehensive Conservation Plan tackles management of the refuge itself, including habitats and the visitor’s center. Among the objectives in the document is replacing or renovating the refuge’s visitor center within the next ten years, conserving at-risk species like greater sage grouse and grizzlies, and creating new opportunities for visitors to observe wildlife.

Lori Iverson, a spokeswoman for the refuge, said the plan also addresses climate change.

“We just want to stay apprised of developing science of climate change and the resulting information that can have Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem-wide application,” said Iverson.

She said they will do that in part by collaborating with other federal agencies.

Other plans were considered that would have either heavily increased or restricted public use.

“The selected alternative is a nice blended option that would both increase public use opportunities, but still have an emphasis on some of the wildlife dependent uses that we promote here on the refuge,” said Iverson.

Iverson said they received many comments from the public about supplemental feeding on the refuge, but that that is part of a separate elk and bison management plan last completed in 2007.

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