JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Under threat of legal action, federal wildlife managers are pledging to start weaning elk that winter on the National Elk Refuge in northwest Wyoming off of supplemental feeding.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been talking with Wyoming wildlife managers for about a dozen years about the feeding program. But the threat of litigation by the Earthjustice environmental group has forced the agency to act.

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the federal agency has agreed to have a plan in place by the next feeding season, which typically begins in late January or early February each winter.

Earthjustice contends that the supplemental feeding of elk increases the risk of spreading chronic wasting disease among wildlife in the area.