Conservation groups sue Feds to phase out feeding elk
On the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming
June 4, 2008
Five conservation groups are taking the U.S. Department of the Interior to court over its decision to continue feeding elk on the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming. The groups contend that crowded conditions on feedgrounds foster diseases in the elk including Brucellosis, chronic wasting disease, scabies and hoof rot.
The five organizations filing the action in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia are:
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance
Defenders of Wildlife
Wyoming Outdoor Council
National Wildlife Refuge Association
Non-profit, environmental-interest law firm Earthjustice is representing the groups in the lawsuit.
The groups argue that winter feedings on the National Elk Refuge have altered plant and animal communities so dramatically that it is no longer a healthy, properly functioning environment.
“This practice violates the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, a directive from Congress to provide healthy habitat. The agency’s current plan acknowledges the potent disease risk that accompanies high concentrations of animals like those found on the Elk Refuge in winter, and that the best way to reduce the threat and promote healthy populations of bison and elk is to phase out the annual winter feeding,” states a media release on the Greater Yellowstone Coalition website.