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Elk refuge considers halting feeding program this winter

National Elk Refuge officials say the supplemental feeding program could be halted this year as western Wyoming experiences a warmer than average winter.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the refuge near Jackson is without snow during the time of year when the snowpack is typically at its deepest.

Refuge biologist Eric Cole says the elk herds are moving farther north to forage – an action that would usually occur in late March or April. Officials may not supply feed to the elk and bison herds if the winter stays mild and the animals are able to live off the landscape.

Feed trucks have typically begun distributing the hay and alfalfa in the last week of January, but the program has started in late February before.

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