Jenny Lake Boating, Inc. Selected for Award of Concession Contract at Grand Teton National Park

December 18, 2007

The National Park Service (NPS) selected Jenny Lake Boating, Inc. to provide boat shuttle service, scenic interpretive boat tours, and boat rentals on Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park under concession contract GRTE022-08. NPS Intermountain Regional Director Michael D. Snyder made the announcement today, December 18, in Denver, Colorado. The contract becomes effective as of January 1, 2008, with a term of 10 years.

Jenny Lake Boating, Inc. was the current provider of boat shuttles, boat tours, and rental services under the terms of a 5-year concession contract that took effect in 2002. Jenny Lake Boating, Inc. was given a one year extension to provide visitor services through the 2007 summer season, during which time the NPS issued a prospectus soliciting proposals for a new concession contract. The NPS accepted proposals for this contract opportunity through August 6, 2007.

“We are pleased that Jenny Lake Boating, Inc. was awarded a new concession contract by the Regional Office,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “They have provided outstanding visitor service throughout the term of their previous contract, and their current proposal for the new contract confirmed their exceptional commitment to safety, protecting park resources, and providing quality visitor experiences,” remarked Superintendent Scott. “We look forward to the next ten years while continuing our positive working relationship with Jenny Lake Boating, Inc.”

Jenny Lake Boating, Inc.’s proposal was selected under the provisions of 36 C.F.R. §51.16(c). The National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 made a number of changes in how concession contracts are awarded with the intent of insuring quality visitor services, protecting park resources, and enhancing the competitive contract process for NPS concession contracts.

The NPS solicited offers for this business opportunity and received four offers. A review team of industry experts and NPS employees analyzed the proposals based on criteria specified in 36 C.F.R. Part 51.

Guidelines used to evaluate the proposal can be found at:


Winter Season Activities Begin in Grand Teton National Park

December 17, 2007

In Grand Teton National Park, activities for the 2007/08 winter season begin on Wednesday, December 19. The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center (12 miles north of Jackson, Wyoming) is the only visitor center that is open year-round in the park; winter hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Discovery Center will close for December 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

A Single Day Pass is available to winter visitors at the Moose, Moran and Granite Canyon entrance stations. This winter-season permit allows a one-day entry into Grand Teton at a cost of $5 per vehicle. The single day pass is valid only in Grand Teton and cannot be used for entry into Yellowstone. Winter visitors may choose to purchase one of the following other options for entry:
$15 One-day Pass valid for snowmobile entry to Grand Teton and the JDR Parkway
$20 Seven-day Pass valid for snowmobile entry to Grand Teton and the JDR Parkway
$25 Seven-day Pass valid for single vehicle entry into Grand Teton and Yellowstone
$50 Grand Teton/Yellowstone Annual Pass valid for one year entry into both parks
$80 Interagency Annual Pass valid for one year entry to all federal land management fee areas

Ranger-led snowshoe hikes will begin December 26 at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. This 2-hour activity is offered every day at 2 p.m. and previous experience is not necessary. Snowshoes are provided for a requested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for kids aged 8 years and older. Reservations are required and can be made at 307.739.3399.

Backcountry users and mountaineers planning to stay overnight in the backcountry must get a non-fee permit before their trip at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Permits are not required for day users. To obtain weather forecasts and avalanche hazard information, stop at the Discovery Center, visit the backcountry Web site , or call the avalanche hotline at 307.733.2664.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities in the park. Trails are skier tracked, but not groomed. The Teton Park Road (TPR) is a designated winter trail, open to non-motorized use only. During the winter season, the unplowed TPR will be intermittently groomed for cross-country touring and skate skiing from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain. Severe winter storms or park emergencies may preempt the trail grooming schedule on occasion.
Important reminder: Snowshoers should walk adjacent to – and not on top of – cross-country ski tracks.

Skiers and snowshoers are not restricted to established trails; however, for protection of wildlife, they are required to observe closure areas from December 15 to April 1. To obtain trail maps, closure locations, or winter information, go to the park’s Web site at or visit the Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. Winter wildlife closure areas include:

Snake River floodplain from Moran to Menors Ferry near Moose
Buffalo Fork River floodplain within the park
Kelly Hill and Uhl Hill
Willow Flats
Static Peak
Prospectors Mountain
Mount Hunt areas (see the park's cross-country ski brochure for descriptions)

Leashed pets are allowed on the park's plowed roads and turnouts, the unplowed Moose-Wilson Road, and the Grassy Lake Road. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry, which includes all other park areas beyond the defined roadways.

The unplowed TPR will be open to visitors who wish to walk, snowshoe or ski with their leashed pet. Dogs are restricted to the multi-use portion of the TPR winter trail, and must be restrained at all times on a leash no longer than 6-feet in length. Dogs must also be leashed while in the parking areas at Taggart Lake and Signal Mountain. Please remember to keep dogs off the groomed ski tracks.

Mutt Mitt stations are in place at the TPR trailheads to dispense plastic bags for pet waste; trash receptacles are also available for disposal of used bags. Pet owners are required to clean up their pet's waste and properly dispose of the bags in the receptacles provided. In recent winters, some pet owners have left used bags along the side of the road; these bags become buried in snow and cause problems for rotary snow plows during the spring road opening. If pet owners do not comply with the rules and regulations—especially with regard to pet waste disposal and leash rules—it is possible that pets will be prohibited from the TPR in the future.

Dog sleds are not allowed on the Teton Park Road. However, dog sleds are allowed on Grassy Lake Road in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

Snowmobilers may use the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST) after snow conditions permit its opening. This trail runs through both Grand Teton and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, and the Grassy Lake Road in the JDR Parkway. Snowmobile operation hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The CDST will open once enough snow has accumulated to allow grooming for safe passage along the route. In addition, the CDST opens in coordination with the State of Wyoming's portion of the trail which provides access into the park through the Moran Entrance Station. Trail information is available through a recorded message by calling 307.739.3683.

Snowmobiles may also be used on the frozen surface of Jackson Lake for the purposes of ice fishing only. A Wyoming State fishing license and appropriate fishing gear must be in possession.

Please Note: Snowmobilers are required to use only approved best available technology (BAT) machines on the CDST and on Jackson Lake. Before operating a snowmobile in Grand Teton, please review current snowmobile regulations and approved BAT machines online at, or stop at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming.

For further information about winter activities in Grand Teton National Park or the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, please visit the park’s Web site at


Study to Begin on the Teton Range Population of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Interagency News Release
Grand Teton National Park
Wyoming Game and Fish
Bridger-Teton National Forest

December 11, 2007

Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin an interagency study of the Teton Range bighorn sheep population in cooperation with a graduate student from the Fish & Wildlife Coop Unit at the University of Wyoming. The Teton Range herd occupies high elevation habitat that spans across federal lands on both the park and forests. This study will provide valuable information for interagency partners about the health and future of the herd.

The agencies have contracted with wildlife capture professionals to place GPS (Global Positioning System) collars on 20 female bighorns. In order to access the sheep in their remote range, animals will be netted from a helicopter, quickly fitted with a collar, and released on site. The GPS collars are programmed to periodically record vital location data as the animals move across their range throughout the year. After two years, the collars will automatically drop off. Biologists will then recover the collars via radio-telemetry and download the data to computers, providing detailed information about habitat selection, travel routes and other factors (i.e. lamb production and survival) that are critical to ensuring the long-term survival of this bighorn population.

Winter is the best time to capture and collar bighorn sheep, and capture operations are scheduled to begin this week, as weather permits. Consequently, local residents and visitors may see low flying helicopters in the vicinity of Granite Canyon, Death Canyon, and northern portions of the Teton Range, as the operation takes place.

The Teton Range bighorn sheep population is Wyoming’s smallest and most isolated native herd, numbering just 100-125 animals. Federal and state biologists have been concerned for many years about the long-term survival of this particular herd. Due to a loss of historic low-elevation winter range, the herd now lives year-round at high elevation in the Teton Range, where because of their small population they are vulnerable to a single event—disease, harsh winter weather or avalanches—that could quickly reduce their numbers and lead to potential extirpation of the herd. Although broad scale information is available about bighorn sheep seasonal distributions, further detailed information on habitat selection, travel routes and movements is urgently needed and critical to the herd’s long-term persistence.

Growing recognition of the questionable future for this bighorn sheep population led to the formation of a Teton Range Bighorn Sheep Working Group in 1990—a group comprised of representatives from Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee national forests, and Grand Teton National Park, as well as several individuals with expertise in bighorn ecology who are affiliated with non-governmental organizations.

Previous efforts to improve the Teton Range herd’s survival included seasonal closures of sheep winter ranges to reduce disturbance impacts during an especially stressful time of year, and the retirement of domestic sheep allotments in forest locations on the western slopes of the Teton Range. Although progress has been made in reducing some of the threats to the long-term survival of Teton Range herd, uncertainties still remain regarding their current distribution, and whether bighorn sheep avoid areas of human activity. Consequently, there is a critical need to further assess habitat selection patterns and general population status of this isolated sheep herd.