The National Elk Refuge, the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum, the Murie Center, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art are pleased to host an evening of storytelling on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The free public event celebrates the 100–day countdown remaining until August 10, the 100–year anniversary of the date that an Act of Congress appropriated money for the purchase of lands and maintenance of a winter elk refuge in Jackson Hole. The National Elk Refuge’s centennial offers an opportunity to highlight area history and the role the refuge has played in defining much of the character of the valley.
The evening will kick off with a social hour from 6:00 – 7:00 PM, including a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres. From 7:00 to 8:30 PM, three community members share stories and photographs about people who played an integral role in the history of both the valley and the National Elk Refuge. Karen Reinhart from the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum presents a slideshow entitled “Homesteader Hopes and Reality in the High Country of Jackson Hole.” The program shares historic photos and stories of homesteaders in the valley. The narrative includes tales of passionate residents who began the conservation movement in Jackson Hole, including Olaus Murie. The Murie Center’s Steve Duerr will also speak to Murie’s legacy and his role of studying the largest elk herd in North America. Jim Wallace, Boy Scout leader for more than thirty years, shares the history of the Jackson District Boy Scouts and their involvement since 1957 in helping National Elk Refuge staff collect elk antlers. Many Scouts remember the unique experience well into adulthood, considering it a special privilege to participate in an activity that is not open to the general public.
Other anniversaries highlighted during the evening include the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862; the recent 100th birthday of conservationist Louise “Weezy” Murie MacLeod; the 50th anniversary of the publication of conservationist Mardy Murie’s book Two in the Far North; the 45th anniversary of the Boy Scout Antler Auction; the 25th anniversary of the National Museum of Wildlife Art; and the 20th anniversary of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program and Contest.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art will open their galleries for the evening, allowing visitors to see the new exhibition showcasing the Wyoming 2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp winners.
For further information on the May 2nd event, please call the Refuge Administrative Office at 307.733.9212.