Officials assess refuge herd at mid-winter. Mortalities are down, but officials worry about high numbers, warmer temperatures. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

An amazingly small number of elk have perished as of mid-winter at the National Elk Refuge. However, the snow is deep, meaning it will probably melt out late and will get dirty and infectious before the winter feeding ends. Therefore, some conclude that mortality rate may yet soar.

The wintering elk herd is regarded as too large by the management of the National Elk Refuge.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He has been a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and also its President. For many years he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to . . . turning from the northern Range, in Jackson Hole elk numbers high, mortality low.

  1. Robert Hoskins says:

    … bu not by the Wyoming G&F Department. Any non-hunter mortality is considered unacceptable.

  2. Jim says:

    What does “dirty and infectious” mean?

  3. It means the remaining snow is a long way from being white in color, and it is full of disease causing organisms.

  4. Robert Hoskins says:

    Welcome to elk management, Wyoming style.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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