A federal appeals court has refused to set a five year deadline to phase out winter feeding on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson. But some environmental groups say the ruling also clarifies that winter feeding for Elk and Bison should be stopped soon. Lloyd Dorsey of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition says it overturns a previous ruling that said that winter feeding should continue indefinitely.
"This certainly adds impetus to the responsibility of the fish and wildlife service to expeditiously phase out the winter feeding program on the national elk refuge."
Dorsey contends that the feeding program, which has been in place for about 100 years, has actually hurt Elk and Bison with disease due to overcrowding. Elk and bison on the refuge are fed alfalfa pellets to improve their chances of surviving the winter.