Last week’s winter storm prompted biologists at the National Elk Refuge to conduct additional surveys to assess how the storm may have affected refuge conditions. Spokesperson Lori Iverson says such surveys are tied to the annual supplemental feeding program. As yet, the refuge has not instituted its feeding program. During the past growing season, the amount of forage produced on the refuge was recorded as nearly 19-thousand tons – about 52-hundred tons than the previous year. During the last survey, it was estimated that significant forage remained on the south end of the refuge; but if the additional snow impacted its availability or a large amount of it was consumed by the elk, that information may influence when feeding begins. Currently, Iverson says there are more than five-thousand elk wintering on the south end of the refuge, and around 200 bison.