Can elk migration routes be restored?
Pronghorn and deer still make the trek, but elk unlikely to follow
Angus Theurmer Jr. | Jackson Hole News & Guide
Editor's note: In short, the upshot of this story is that the habitat is so degraded that elk will have to stay put in Jackson Hole in the wintering — which means many will want to keep feeding them at the National Elk Refuge to keep artificially inflated numbers.
Perhaps no conservation story has been celebrated recently in Jackson Hole as much as that of the Path of the Pronghorn.
The route between Grand Teton National Park and the pronghorn wintering grounds in the Green River basin has been embraced by conservationists, protected by some federal land managers and held up as a model for a healthy and natural ecosystem.
Photographers document the annual trek, and adventurers follow the antelope’s route, the third-longest overland wildlife trek in the world.
Some Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park elk also made the annual journey to winter in the Red and Little Colorado deserts near Rock Springs, according to at least two historic accounts. In one telling, documented by the 1927 Commission on the
Conservation of the Jackson Hole Elk, the mass movement eventually collected 20,000 animals.
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