The National Elk Refuge--in the shadow of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks--may be doing more to harm elk than anyone would ever expect.
"Dawn comes late to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on winter mornings. When the sun finally edges over the high ridges that crowd the town of Jackson and paints the Tetons pink, the huddled mounds studding the snow-covered meadows along Flat Creek finally come into focus as thousands of sleeping elk. They stir, shaking the hoarfrost from thick pelts with a clatter of antlers and flapping of ears. Plumes of breath rise from thousands of black nostrils, forming a shimmering cloud in the frigid air as the elk wait for breakfast to be served.
And soon it is: The growl of engines in low gear accompanies the sunlight as rubber tracked crawler tractors appear, pulling trailers loaded with 20 to 30 tons of alfalfa pellets across the snow. As a tractor approaches a group of elk, the driver opens a gate in the underside of the trailer, releasing a stream of green pellets.
How did the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park evolve from a safe harbor for the nation's largest remaining herd of elk to a threat to their descendants' survival?"
More at: http://www.npca.org/magazine/2007/winter/the_refuge.html
Please Don’t Feed the Elk: Alternatives to Winter Feeding of Elk.
"Winter feeding programs designed to boost elk populations, prevent their interactions with livestock and reduce depredation of haystacks are commonplace in the West.
Unfortunately, elk herds that concentrate on these feeding grounds are more likely to be infected with brucellosis and may facilitate the spread of chronic wasting disease than elk that winter “out”.
In addition, winter feeding programs are expensive. Discontinuing winter feeding programs may be necessary to decrease the spread of disease and reduce costs."
More at: http://www.behave.net/projects/wildlife-elk2006.html
Did You Know?
The stunning sugar white beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore are composed of fine quartz eroded from granite in the Appalachian Mountains. The sand is carried seaward by rivers and creeks and deposited by currents along the shore.
Misty enjoyed rolling in the dirt again:
I dust her off, and tell her to "shake", so she shakes, and then goes under my bed!!
Jay and I removed the rest of the shelves and stuff out of the cargo trailer.
We cut the bad section of floor out, right up against the main frame, so that the welder can get to the outriggers to weld them back in place.
But I have to go into town to get the bad tire replaced first, so he can tow it down there.
Someone must have run over something strong to have bent them like they were!
This is going to make a great "stealth" travel trailer. I have already designed the floor plan.
The wheel well, lumber and parts were getting in the way in the workshop, so we moved all of it into poor old "Pugsy", the vintage motor home, today.