2009 Evison Fellowship Applications Available

Boyd Evison
December 22, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott and Grand Teton Association Executive Director Jan Lynch announce that applications are available for the 2009 Boyd Evison Graduate Research Fellowship. Supported by donations to the Grand Teton Association (GTA), the Evison Fellowship provides whole or substantial support for new graduate studies that increase public awareness of the importance of science to parks, and of parks to science. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for research of the intangible and disappearing aspects of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, and public or private lands surrounding the Greater Yellowstone Area.

In 2005, Grand Teton National Park and the Grand Teton Natural History Association collaborated to begin a new graduate research fellowship in memory of Boyd Evison, who died in October 2002. Evison retired in 1994 from an exemplary 42-year career with the National Park Service (NPS) in which he rose from being a park ranger and resource manager to superintendent and regional director in parks from Alaska to the Rocky Mountains. Evison was one of the greatest and most influential managers of the modern NPS. During his long career, he demonstrated leadership in conservation, environmental education, and expanding scientific knowledge to help shape wise management decisions and maintain native resources. After retiring from government service, Evison became the executive director of the Grand Teton Natural History Association, Grand Teton’s principle interpretive and educational partner. In 2007 for their 70th anniversary, the Grand Teton Natural History Association was renamed Grand Teton Association.

Proposals for the Evison Fellowship are encouraged to focus on new research studies or surveys; they may include studies which have not yet begun, or which have been initiated within the past year but are not fully funded. Emphasis areas may include topics such as natural soundscapes; air and water; lesser-known and charismatic ecosystem elements such as plants, fish, insects, amphibians, fungi, snails, bacteria; geologic or other processes; and social science related to public understanding of natural resources and their use or management.

Fellowships average $5000-$10,000 per project, and may include housing at Grand Teton National Park. In addition to a summary report or publication, students will be expected to provide one or more educational products to facilitate information transfer beyond the scientific audience, such as a presentation to resource managers, a public seminar, CD, or non-technical article.

Applications for the 2009 Boyd Evison Fellowship must be postmarked by February 13, 2009; the recipient will be announced on April 15.

For further information or to request an application, write to Boyd Evison Graduate Fellowship, Grand Teton Association, P.O. Box 170, Moose, Wyoming 83012. Applicants may also phone Jan Lynch, executive director of the Grand Teton Association, at 307.739.3406, or call Grand Teton National Park Chief of Science and Resource Management Sue Consolo Murphy at 307.739.3481.

Winter Season Activities to Begin

December 8, 2008
Activities for the 2008/09 winter season begin in Grand Teton National Park on Monday, December 15. The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center (12 miles north of Jackson, Wyoming) is open year-round and winter hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Discovery Center will close to observe the Christmas holiday on December 25.

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:
$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 http://www.jhavalanche.org/ , 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. During the winter season, the unplowed TPR will be intermittently groomed for cross-country touring and skate skiing from the 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 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 http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/maps.htm or visit the Discovery Center in Moose. Winter wildlife closure areas include:
Snake River floodplain, Moran to Menor's Ferry at Moose
Buffalo Fork River floodplain within the park
Kelly Hill and Uhl Hill
Static Peak
Prospectors Mountain
Mount Hunt areas (see park's X-C 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 keep dogs off the groomed ski tracks as a courtesy to other trail users.

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. Some pet owners have left used bags along the side of the road, and when these bags become buried in snow, they 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. Important note: Allowing pets on the TPR is a pilot program that may be discontinued at any time.

Dog sleds are not allowed on the Teton Park Road or on Grassy Lake Road in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway (JDR Parkway).

Snowmobilers may use 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. Only approved best available technology (BAT) machines are allowed on Jackson Lake. Before operating a snowmobile in Grand Teton, review regulations online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/current_batlist.htm, or stop at the Discovery Center in Moose.

Snowmobiles may also use the Grassy Lake Road in the JDR Parkway for recreation. For winter 2008/09, BAT machines are required if an oversnow trip originates from Flagg Ranch Resort, while non BAT machines are allowed for trips beginning in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

For further information about winter activities in Grand Teton National Park or the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, visit online at http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/winter.htm.

Rescheduled Closure of Ditch Creek Road

November 20, 2008
A closure of the Ditch Creek Road, just east of the Teton Science School, will occur on Monday, November 24 between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m. The temporary road closure was previously scheduled for yesterday and today; however, a delay in the delivery of two large water tanks has caused a change for the anticipated closure.

The road will be temporarily closed to allow for placement of two 30,000-gallon tanks to be unloaded and positioned at the Science School’s Kelly campus as part of a project directed by Grand Teton National Park to rehabilitate their water system.

The closures are required to safely stage a crane needed to off load two large water tanks. The water system improvement work is close to completion and installation of these custom made tanks is one of the last major tasks required to conclude the project. As a result of this effort, water system quality and service, along with fire fighting capabilities, will be improved at the Kelly campus, located in Grand Teton National Park.

Road closure schedules may change or be delayed due to weather conditions, equipment failure, or other unforeseen circumstances. For road updates, visit the park’s Web site www.nps.gov/grte or call the park’s recorded information line on road conditions at 307.739.3614.

Ditch Creek Road Closure Scheduled

November 13, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced today that a closure of the Ditch Creek Road just east
of the Teton Science School, will occur on two days next week, Wednesday, November 19 and Thursday, November 20, between
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The road closures are planned to allow for two 30,000-gallon water tanks to be unloaded and positioned at the Science School’s Kelly campus as part of a project directed by
Grand Teton National Park to rehabilitate their water system.

The closures are required to safely stage a crane needed to off load two large water tanks. The water system improvement work is close to completion and installation of these custom made tanks is one of the last major tasks required to conclude the project. As a result of this effort, water system quality and service, along with fire fighting capabilities, will be improved at the Kelly campus, located in Grand Teton National Park.

Road closure schedules may change or be delayed due to weather conditions, equipment failure, or other unforeseen circumstances. For road updates, visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/grte or call the park’s recorded information line on road conditions at 307.739.3614.

Gros Ventre Road & River Bank Project

November 13, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced today that a road improvement project is scheduled
to begin on Friday, November 14 on the Gros Ventre Road, about
two miles east of the junction with Highway 26/89/191. This construction project will stabilize a 300-foot section of the
Gros Ventre River embankment and the adjacent roadway in the aftermath of emergency repairs that were made to the area in late May during high water run-off. The project is anticipated to be completed in one week’s time, weather depending.

No traffic delays are anticipated to occur during this road improvement project; however, motorists should be alert for construction vehicles and equipment at the site and along the river bank near the roadway.

The road construction project will be conducted for several reasons: 1) to strengthen the boulder armoring that was installed to protect the river bank during the 2008 spring run-off; 2) to grade the embankment slope and further reinforce it; and 3) to plant native vegetation to stabilize the soils.

Roadwork schedules may change or be delayed due to weather conditions, equipment failure, or other unforeseen circumstances. For updates, visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/grte or call the recorded information line on road conditions at 307.739.3614.

Seasonal Road Closures and Hours of Operation in Grand Teton National Park

October 27, 2008
Jackson Hole residents and park visitors are reminded that two roads within Grand Teton National Park will close to vehicular traffic for the winter season beginning Friday evening, October 31, 2008. Vehicle closures include the length of the Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake parking area and the Signal Mountain Lodge parking lot, as well as the Moose-Wilson Road between Granite Canyon and Death Canyon trailheads.

In addition to the annual road closures, the Moose, Moran and Granite Canyon entrance stations will temporarily close for the month of November and early December; they are scheduled to reopen on December 15 for the winter season. The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming is open year-round; however, hours of operation for the winter season will be adjusted to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Annually, the Teton Park Road is not plowed after the first of November. During the time that the Teton Park Road remains free of snow, visitors are welcome to use the roadway for non-motorized recreation such as walking, bicycling, and in-line skating. Once the snow begins to accumulate, winter season activities such as cross-country skiing, skate-skiing and snow-shoeing become possible.

NOTE: The new multi-use pathway running from Dornan’s near Moose Junction to South Jenny Lake parking area is still a construction zone and not yet open for public use. For safety reasons, local residents and park visitors — including bikers, walkers, strollers, in-line skaters, etc. — are not allowed on the pathway at this time. An official announcement will be made once the pathway is completed and open for use.

Pets are permitted on park roadways; however, pet owners are reminded that dogs must be leashed and under physical restraint at all times. Dog owners are required to clean-up their pet’s waste, and mutt mitt stations are provided for that purpose.

In addition to road closures in Grand Teton National Park, the Grassy Lake Road within the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway will close for the winter season with the first major snowstorm.

Nighttime Travel Closures Planned for Park Roads

October 14, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced today that the installation of a large culvert on
Highway 89/287 at Huckleberry Hill between Lizard Creek campground and Flagg Ranch Resort will require a temporary overnight travel closure from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on October 20, 21 and 22. Although the culvert installation work is scheduled to be completed in one night, motorists should plan for overnight travel restrictions to be in place on any one—if not all three—of the scheduled nights as a result of weather conditions, or other circumstances, that may impede the operation.

The north park road improvement project on Highway 89/287 will continue during the summer of 2009. Work will begin in April, weather permitting, and continue through mid-November. During that time, the road will be resurfaced and widened to be consistent with the pavement width from the Snake River Bridge to the south gate of Yellowstone National Park. Traffic will be restricted to one lane during this phase of the project, and 30-minute delays can be expected.

In addition to the overnight travel restriction on Huckleberry Hill, the Teton Park Road will also be closed between Taggart Lake parking area and South Jenny Lake so that a heavy-duty crane can off load and set in place a pedestrian bridge over Cottonwood Creek on the new multi-use pathway. The bridge placement is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, and the roadway will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Roadwork schedules may change or be delayed due to weather conditions, equipment failure, or other unforeseen circumstances. For road updates, call the park’s recorded information line on road conditions at 307.739.3614 or visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/grte.

Annual Elk Reduction Program and Grizzly Bears

September 26, 2008
The annual elk reduction program in Grand Teton National Park will begin on Saturday, October 11, 2008. Under its 1950 enabling legislation, Grand Teton National Park is mandated by federal law to conduct an elk reduction program — when necessary — for the conservation of the elk population in Jackson Hole. Since the elk herd is currently above its management objective of 11,000 animals, intensive management (including the reduction program) is warranted. The need for the park’s elk reduction program stems partly from an annual winter feeding program on the National Elk Refuge, which sustains high numbers of elk with unnaturally low mortality rates. A majority of elk that are fed on the refuge either summer in, or use migration routes through Grand Teton National Park; as a result, the reduction program has historically included specified park lands.

The elk reduction program utilizes Wyoming licensed hunters that apply for and receive limited quota permits in hunt areas #75 and #79. As provided in the 1950 legislation, a park permit deputizes hunters as park rangers with the authority to take one elk each. Permits are issued for either any elk, or for cow/calf elk.

As a part of their special use permit — and as an added safety measure — each participant receives a strong, proactive message alerting them to the presence of grizzly bears throughout the authorized hunt zones. In addition, hunters are required to carry bear pepper spray as a non-lethal deterrent for use during potential bear encounters. Hunters are also advised not to leave a carcass unattended and to remove their harvested elk as soon as possible. Each fall, park rangers strictly monitor and patrol the elk reduction hunt areas located within the park to ensure compliance with rules and regulations associated with this wildlife management program.

Bears and other scavengers throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) have learned to seek out and feed on gut piles and other hunter-related carrion during the fall season. While this represents an important, highly nutritious food source to these animals, it can create circumstances when bears aggressively defend carcasses and/or gut piles. Hunters and other park visitors should keep in mind that dozens of grizzlies use the park regularly and may be encountered anytime and anywhere throughout the fall. All necessary precautions for recreating in bear country need to be strictly followed, particularly those that apply to hunters.

During the 2007 elk reduction program, many grizzly bears moved widely throughout Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in pursuit of discarded gut piles and other remains. Bear #399, a 12-year-old female, and her three sub-adult cubs were among those that followed the activities of hunters in the region. Because these bears were comfortable foraging near roads and other developed areas, they served as visible reminders of grizzly bear recovery in the southern portion of the GYE, including increasing numbers of grizzlies in the southern portion of Grand Teton.

The Conservation Strategy for Grizzly Bears in the GYE guides the continuing efforts by land and wildlife managers to conserve bear habitat and minimize bear-human conflicts through education and compliance with appropriate regulations, including those related to keeping a safe distance when viewing bears. To ensure a healthy grizzly bear population, every effort is made to educate park visitors, concessioner employees, local residents and hunters about living and recreating responsibly in bear country. Park rangers will continue to monitor wildlife and educate all users about their personal responsibility for maintaining a safe visit.

Site Visit Scheduled for Lodging Prospectus

September 22, 2008
Grand Teton National Park anticipates issuing a prospectus soliciting proposals to provide lodging, food and beverage, retail and marina services at the Signal Mountain Lodge and Leeks Marina areas of Grand Teton National Park. The prospectus is expected to be released during the spring of 2009 when facilities and roads will still be closed for the winter season. A site visit is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, 2008, in order to allow interested parties an opportunity to see the facilities prior to their season closure.

The site visit will examine existing concession facilities and areas authorized for operations, and also address questions about the existing concession contract. The existing concession operation is located in northwest Wyoming within Grand Teton National Park, specifically, on the shores of Jackson Lake at the Signal Mountain Lodge and Leeks Marina areas. The NPS has determined that the existing concessioner is not a preferred offeror for the new contract, pursuant to the terms of 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51—Concession Contracts and Permits.

A site visit is not required to submit a proposal for the prospectus, but is encouraged. No questions specific to the prospectus will be entertained during the site visit; however, questions specific to the prospectus will be answered after it is issued.

The site visit will begin at 9 a.m. at Signal Mountain Lodge, located 17 miles north of Grand Teton National Park headquarters at Moose, Wyoming. Parties interested in attending must R.S.V.P. by the close of business on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, to Mallory Smith at 307.739.3434 or by e-mail at Mallory_Smith@nps.gov. If responding via email, please include the names of all persons planning to participate in the site visit. Once an R.S.V.P. is received, information will be provided on the specific meeting location and visit agenda.

Park Receives Shipment of Bear-Proof Food Storage Boxes

September 22, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott is pleased to announce that a shipment of 52 bear-proof food storage boxes has been delivered to the park, thanks to financial support from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation (GTNPF) and the Grand Teton Lodge Company (GTLC). Durable bear-proof food storage boxes provide a convenient method of securing human foods away from the reach of bears. Although a few boxes were already stationed at some picnic sites and campgrounds throughout the park, obtaining additional boxes has become a high priority of the park’s bear management program.

The GTNPF — a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Grand Teton National Park by raising funds for special programs and projects — began a focused campaign in 2008 to secure money for the purchase of food storage boxes in an effort to reduce bear-human conflicts. The GTLC — an authorized park concessioner — joined in the endeavor and supplied additional funding through a campground improvement program required under their current contract. Other funding was supplied by the National Park Service through concessioner franchise fees.

Bear-proof food storage boxes cost $1,100 each. The GTLC committed approximately $20,000 in funding for 2008 to place bear boxes in high priority sites. Franchise fees will provide an additional $25,000/year for the next four years. GTNPF donors have provided funding for 21 boxes to date, with the promise of additional donations in the future. The generosity of individual GTNPF donors will be acknowledged though the placement of donor recognition plaques on the boxes.

More than 3.5 million visitors come to Grand Teton National Park each year, most during the summer months, and thousands of them picnic or stay overnight at one of the park’s 916 campsites. Proper food storage is vital to prevent bears from becoming “human food-conditioned” while they search for available food sources throughout the park; however, nearly 85% of the park’s front country campsites lack these sturdy containers. The park has identified approximately 850 front country sites for bear-proof food storage box installation. This first shipment of boxes will be placed at the String Lake picnic area and in the Colter Bay tent village and campground.

Since 2006, park rangers have documented almost daily violations of food storage regulations by careless or uninformed visitors. Although overall compliance with food storage regulations is high, it only takes one incident of a bear obtaining food for them to get food-conditioned and become a potential nuisance bear. Out of concern for public safety, nuisance bears are often removed from the park, and in serious cases, nuisance bears are euthanized. By being widely available for visitors to use, bear proof food storage boxes will help prevent bears from becoming food-conditioned.

National Public Lands Day Celebration with Alfred Runte

Author Alfred Runte
September 16, 2008
In recognition of the 15th annual National Public Lands Day, Grand Teton National Park will host a presentation by guest speaker, Alfred Runte, on Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m. in the Director’s Room at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. This presentation is free and open to the public; an author book signing will follow in the Discovery Center’s bookstore. In addition to Runte’s special appearance, all entrance fees (including commercial tour fees) will be waived for visitors entering Grand Teton National Park on September 27.

Alfred “Al” Runte is an environmental historian and former college educator who taught at five major institutions of higher education, including Baylor University in Waco, Texas and the University of Washington in Seattle. Runte's literary works focus on parks, conservation, and public transportation. He has written numerous books on these subjects; his first book, National Parks: The American Experience (1979; revised 1987, 1997), has been praised as the definitive study of the national park idea. Recently, Runte completed a history of railroads and the environment, titled Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation. Runte is also advising Ken Burns on a forthcoming PBS series titled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” due to air in the fall of 2009.

Runte’s lecture, Our Public Lands: An American Legacy, will focus on public lands with an emphasis on the National Park System. During his talk, Runte plans to encourage his audience to ponder such questions as: How did our public lands come into being? What should be done to protect them? Are public lands something that Americans want to protect for future generations, and maintain for their present-day use and enjoyment?

Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott expressed her support of National Public Lands Day and stated that, “With the fall color display and watchable wildlife, September is a truly special time to visit Grand Teton National Park and take advantage of a free entry day. I hope that local residents and park visitors will also make time to attend Mr. Runte’s presentation, which promises to be informative and thought-provoking.”

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with the purpose to increase awareness of the value of all public lands, to foster shared stewardship of America’s national resources, and to encourage people to volunteer their time. Federal land agencies have created partnerships with private individuals and citizen groups in an effort to improve, restore or enhance public lands and to provide additional opportunities for education, outdoor recreation, and enjoyment. Eight federal agencies and many state and local partners, plus dozens of non-profit organizations, tens of thousands of individuals, and national sponsor Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. are expected to participate in this annual day of caring for shared lands.

National Public Lands Day is the only time that entrance fees are systematically waived on public lands across the country. In addition to national park units, fees will be waived at other land management sites, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Forest Service. In addition to National Public Lands Day, United States veterans are admitted free to national parks each year on Veteran’s Day.

Please visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/ for more information.

Closing Dates for Visitor Facilities

September 15, 2008
Grand Teton National Park's facilities and operations will make the annual transition from summer season to fall season during the next few weeks. The following dates reflect the facility closings that will occur during late September and throughout October.

Lizard Creek: September 2 (closed)
Flagg Ranch: September 21 (12 noon)
Jenny Lake: September 28 (12 noon)
Colter Bay: September 28 (12 noon)
Ranger Stations & Visitor Centers
Flagg Ranch Information Station: September 2 (closed)
Jenny Lake Ranger Station: September 21 (5:00 pm)
Jenny Lake Visitor Center: September 27 (4:30 pm)
Concessioner Lodging & Services
Colter Bay: September 28

Gros Ventre: October 12 (12 noon)
Signal Mountain: October 19 (12 noon)
Ranger Stations & Visitor Centers
Colter Bay Visitor Center: October 13 (5:00 pm)
Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center: October 13 (5:00 pm)
Concessioner Lodging & Services
Jackson Lake Lodge: October 5
Jenny Lake Lodge: October 5
Flagg Ranch: October 6
Signal Mountain Lodge: October 19
Triangle X: October 31
Entrance Stations
Moose: October 31 (5:00 pm)
Moran: October 31 (5:00 pm)
Granite Canyon: October 31 (5:00 pm)
Road Closures for Motorized Use
Moose-Wilson Road: October 31 (evening)
Teton Park Road: October 31 (evening)

The public is welcome to contact the park for more detailed closure information at 307.739.3300, or consult the park’s newspaper, Teewinot, online at http://www.nps.gov/. A winter opening schedule will be announced in December.

Teacher-Ranger Program Launched in 2008

Ranger Nelson Turner swears in a young Junior Ranger

September 12, 2008
Grand Teton National Park participated this past summer in a new National Park Service (NPS) program called “Teacher to Ranger to Teacher” (TRT). By hiring educators from across America, Grand Teton joined other national parks in recruiting teachers and enlisting their help to encourage young people to learn about their national parks. Erica Vogt from St. Mary, Pennsylvania, Carmi Strom from San Diego, California, and Nelson Turner from Brentwood, Tennessee, spent eight weeks of the summer season working for the park’s division of interpretation. After returning to their respective classrooms, these three teachers will now create curriculums to introduce their students to the remarkable American heritage that national parks preserve.

The TRT program targets areas with large, ethnically diverse populations and links national parks with teachers from Title 1 urban and rural school districts — those that qualify for federal funding to help disadvantaged youths achieve state-mandated academic standards. Selected participants spend the summer working as park rangers, performing various duties related to their own interests and the needs of the park. Their duties may include developing and presenting interpretive programs for the general public, staffing visitor center desks, developing curriculum-based materials, and assisting resource management through research or other special projects. Then, during the school year, these teacher-rangers bring the parks into their classrooms by developing and presenting new lesson plans that draw on their in-park experience. During National Park Week in April, teacher-rangers will wear their NPS uniforms to school and discuss their summer experiences as a park ranger; they will also engage students and other teachers in activities related to national parks, and talk about the role that the NPS plays in preserving our nation’s legacy.

Erica Vogt, a middle school reading teacher from St. Mary’s School District, worked at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. Vogt said of her TRT experience, “I loved taking visitors on hikes and teaching them about the wonders of the area. I also loved the fact that I worked for the Park Service, which is committed to conserving our natural resources.” She also stated that, “I hope to show my students that there is so much of the world to learn about and explore. I want them to keep filling their vessels, and to keep finding ways to make a better life for themselves.”

Carmi Strom, a resource teacher from the Oak Park Music Conservatory who worked at the Colter Bay Visitor Center, said he intends to “show my students that national parks are not just pictures in books, but places where you can actually visit to experience the incredible scenery and wildlife, or perhaps even work in.” He added that he was “extremely proud to wear the NPS uniform and to work as a park ranger.” Strom previously taught at Oak Park Elementary School in San Diego and was named teacher of the year in 2001/02. Prior to his summer in Grand Teton, Strom worked as a seasonal park interpreter for Great Basin and Denali national parks, Cabrillo National Monument, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Middle school science teacher, Nelson Turner, worked at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Turner said, “This was an experience of a lifetime and I feel very fortunate to have been given this amazing opportunity.” Turner presented a program on astronomy as part of his seasonal work and often marveled at the brightness of stars in the Wyoming night sky. He plans to develop a geology unit to explain the physical environment of Grand Teton to his Tennessee students. Turner commented that, “I thought I came as a teacher, but I found out that I was more like a student in summer school, learning about the natural world from knowledgeable park staff.”

The TRT program is made possible through an Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement (IPA) between the public school district and the NPS. The program was initiated in 2003 and became a national program in 2007. This summer, over 80 teacher-rangers wearing NPS uniforms served visitors at various parks nationwide while learning about park resources and issues. As park ambassadors, the teacher-rangers are taking the knowledge gained back to their home schools and sharing their unique experience with children who may one day become ambassadors themselves.

Site Visit Scheduled for Float-Fish Concessions Prospectus

September 11, 2008
Grand Teton National Park anticipates issuing a prospectus soliciting proposals to provide guided float trips and fishing trips on the Snake River, multi-day lake trips on Jackson Lake, and/or guided horseback rides in the park. The prospectus is expected to be released in late 2008, when roads and/or launch points will likely be closed for the winter. Consequently, a site visit is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, 2008, in order to provide interested parties an early opportunity to see the areas authorized for operation.

There are currently eleven concessioners providing these services within Grand Teton National Park. An additional contract may be awarded to provide guided fishing trips on the section of the Snake River south of Moose only. The existing concession contracts authorize and designate specific activities related to launch and takeout points, passenger meeting points, and meal sites if permitted, as well as the number of launches allowed per day and month.

A site visit is not required to submit a proposal for the upcoming prospectus; however it is highly encouraged to take this opportunity. The site visit will view existing boat launch and takeout locations and address questions about the existing concession contracts. No questions specific to the upcoming prospectus will be entertained during the site visit. Instead, questions specific to the future prospectus will be answered after it is issued later this year.

The site visit will begin at 9 a.m. at the Grand Teton National Park headquarters building in Moose, Wyoming. Parties interested in attending the site visit must R.S.V.P. by the close of business on Monday, September 22, 2008 to Grand Teton National Park Chief of Business Resources Mallory Smith by phone at 307.739.3434 or by e-mail at Mallory_Smith@nps.gov. If responding via email, please include the names of all persons planning to participate.

Once an R.S.V.P. is received, specific information will be provided on the meeting location and visit agenda.

Fending Off Aquatic Invasive Species

September 10, 2008
Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest are partnering to provide Teton County residents with an opportunity to learn more about aquatic invasive species that threaten Wyoming’s waterways. Interested persons are invited to attend a free barbecue dinner and presentation on Wednesday evening, September 17th. Boaters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who use Wyoming’s lakes and streams will learn about invasive species that threaten the health of these waterways from Bob Wiltshire of the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species out of Livingston, Montana. Wiltshire will give a presentation immediately following the barbecue to inform the audience of the consequences of aquatic infestations, and to offer suggestions about what can be done to protect local waters.

The barbecue will be held from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the University of Wyoming/National Park Service Research Center — formerly known as the historic AMK Ranch — located one mile north of Colter Bay near Leeks Marina.

“Anyone recreating in the waters of the Greater Yellowstone Area, or anyone interested in learning about protecting Wyoming’s watersheds would be a well served to attend this dinner and presentation,” said Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton. “Bob Wiltshire is a recognized authority on the subject of aquatic invasives, and as a community, we are fortunate to have such an expert come to share with us how our role can serve to slow the spread of these nuisance species,” said Hamilton.

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said, “Aquatic invasive species are a growing concern across the western states and other parts of the country. As a first step to address this problem locally, the park initiated a self-certification program this past summer whereby people applying for a park boat permit could certify that their watercraft was free of contamination.” Superintendent Scott added, “Grand Teton has also ordered a high-pressure decontamination system that boaters can use in the future before they launched their craft on park lakes or the Snake River.”

Currently, efforts are underway to survey waterways across Wyoming’s Teton and Lincoln counties and to look for and identify various aquatic invasive species that could be colonizing in area waters.

Crandall Painting Donated to Teton Collection

Herb and Quita Pownall present Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott
with original painting by Quita’s father, Harrison Crandall

September 5, 2008
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott is pleased to announce that Herb Pownall and Quita Crandall Pownall, daughter of renowned Teton photographer and artist Harrison R. Crandall, have donated one of her father’s original oil paintings to the park’s Teton Collection. Created in the mid-1960s, the fine art painting depicts a classic Teton scene with mountain peaks partially obscured by clouds and autumn-tinted aspens. The painting will eventually hang in the Jenny Lake Visitor Center — Crandall’s former art studio and showroom — an historic log structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Harrison “Hank” Crandall was born November 23, 1887, in Newton, Kansas, and raised on the Midwest plains. Crandall was inspired as a young boy to photograph the Teton Range after seeing a William Henry Jackson photo of the rugged mountains in a grade school geography book. After studying art at the School of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California, and serving in World War I, Crandall moved west at the age of 25 and settled briefly in Idaho. He first visited Jackson Hole in 1921 and returned the following year with his bride, Hildegard “Hilda,” to make a permanent home. With photographic equipment and camping supplies in hand, the Crandalls spent their first summer scouting locations for photographs, while camping with two friends in what is now Grand Teton National Park. As artist and photographer of the Teton landscape, Crandall became both a Jenny Lake homesteader and a fervent early supporter of the establishment of the park. And with the growth of tourism, Crandall also became one of the earliest concessionaires, selling national park souvenirs and art.

In 1924, he and Hilda homesteaded 120 acres northeast of Jenny Lake and opened the String Lake Dance Pavilion. Although immensely popular with valley residents and “dudes” from local dude ranches, the summer-run, open-air dance hall operated for only 2.5 years because Hank wanted to focus on opening an art studio. He designed his rustic log structure to withstand heavy snows, incorporating sky lights for added natural light and an intricate cross-hatch pattern on the ceiling. Wood from the dismantled dance pavilion was used by local artisans to build the log cabin in 1925 and 1926, and the Crandall Studio opened in 1927. Hand-painted photo postcards of ranch life and the Teton landscape became very popular. Later offerings included paintings, photographs, cameras and film, animal skins, and Navajo rugs. In 1929, when the Snake River Land Company bought the Crandall property, Hank received one of the first concession permits in Grand Teton National Park and relocated his studio nearer to Jenny Lake. It was relocated again in about 1960 and finally moved to its present site in 1991, where the historic building received treatment to rehabilitate and restore its logs, flooring and fireplace.

Crandall’s oil paintings often depicted scenic Teton landscapes but he is also known for paintings of 32 species of wildflowers, which provided an invaluable ecological record of the Jackson valley to the US Biological Service during the 1920s to1940s. Through his art, Crandall became an influential promoter of Grand Teton National Park and the National Park Service, inspiring and informing countless people and future generations. He died in 1970 at the age of 83. His daughter Quita Pownall, an artist herself with formal art training, was occasionally tutored by her father; she hand painted many of the Crandall photographs, including his wildflower panels.

Crandall’s painting will be added to the Teton Collection, which serves as a testament to the crucial role that art has played in preserving Grand Teton National Park and other public lands, and reflects the historic significance of artwork throughout the greater Jackson Hole area. Initiated by the Grand Teton Association (formerly Grand Teton Natural History Association) in the late 1950s, this eclectic art collection features work by John Clymer, Olaus Murie, Conrad Schwiering, Jim Wilcox, Joanne Hennes, and Harrison Crandall. These artists, and many others, found creative inspiration from the Teton landscape, and each skillfully captured the spectacular scenery and wild inhabitants of this region. Much of the Teton Collection is now showcased in the art gallery at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. The Grand Teton Association is currently in the process of creating an informational brochure to hand out at the gallery that will provide an overview of all the artists and their paintings.

The Jenny Lake Visitor Center — historic Crandall Studio — is located eight miles north of Moose Junction on the Teton Park Road and open daily from late May through late September. It is scheduled to close for the 2008 season on September 27.

Major Search Conducted for Lost Hiker Near Hidden Falls

August 28, 2008
A full-scale search for a lost hiker took place on Wednesday evening, August 27 and Thursday morning, August 28, west of Jenny Lake in the Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point area of Grand Teton National Park. Charles “Chuck” Mastny, age 54, from Lakeland, Minnesota, was hiking with his wife, Stephanie, on Wednesday afternoon when he left her at 2:30 p.m. to “do some exploring” while she read a book near a boulder field at Hidden Falls. Searchers located Mastny at 11:10 a.m. on Thursday as he was making his way out of Cascade Canyon toward Jenny Lake after spending a frosty night in the Teton backcountry without shelter and wearing only a T-shirt, long pants and sandals. Nearly 65 searchers—Grand Teton National Park personnel, Teton interagency fire staff, Teton County Wyoming Search and Rescue volunteers, an interagency contract helicopter, and three dog teams from Wyoming K-9 Search and Rescue—took part in the major search effort.

When Mastny failed to return to the Hidden Falls area by 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Stephanie became concerned and quickly hiked to the west shore boat dock to report that he was overdue. Jenny Lake Boating made a call to Teton Interagency Dispatch at about 6:00 p.m. to report the situation, and park rangers immediately initiated a hasty search of the area. A team of 13 rangers scoured the area on foot, but were unable to locate Mastny before sunset. With darkness falling, the hasty search was halted and plans were made to resume a full-scale search beginning at first light on Thursday morning. Rangers also summoned the assistance of an interagency helicopter to provide aerial search capabilities the next morning.

Mastny apparently became so engrossed in scrambling up the boulder field to the south of Hidden Falls, that time got away from him Wednesday afternoon. When he decided to turn around and retrace his path, he realized that he was uncomfortably high, and that it was not safe to return the way he had come. He started to traverse along the top of the boulder field to find a safer way down. Darkness ultimately overtook him, and wearing prescription sunglasses, he eventually sat down to rest and sleep before dawn would provide better light. He also found a bank of snow and ate some for moisture. The next morning, he was able to pick his way across more boulders and through thick vegetation to eventually cross Cascade Creek at a point well into the mouth of Cascade Canyon. A park ranger who was searching the Cascade Canyon trail met up with other hikers who recognized Mastny from a photograph he showed them. They told the ranger that they had met Mastny just a few minutes before, and had given him a candy bar to eat. The ranger quickly caught up to Mastny and confirmed that he was the missing person—the focus of the search.

While this incident had a positive outcome, it could have easily resulted in injury or worse. Rangers remind backcountry travelers that they should be prepared for any hike by carrying food, water, a map, and extra clothing in the event that they are forced to spend an unexpected night out in the backcountry due to injury or being lost. Rangers also recommend that visitors stay on trails and hike in groups of two or more people.

Fall Ranger-led Programs to Begin in Grand Teton National Park

August 26, 2008
Several ranger-led programs are scheduled for the upcoming fall season. These programs will begin on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. Residents and visitors alike may learn about geology, history, and wildlife while enjoying autumn in the park, when colorful foliage and seasonal wildlife behavior reach their peak.

The fall schedule includes:
· Inspiration Point Hike, a 2.5-hour hike to Hidden Falls and view above Jenny Lake, 9:30 a.m. daily. Obtain tokens at Jenny Lake Visitor Center and meet at the flagpole. Boat ride costs $9.50 for adults.
· Explore the Preserve Hike, a 2.5-hour hike to Phelps Lake to experience the pristine setting of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, 9:30 a.m. daily. Reservations recommended. Call 307.739.3654.
· Autumn Stroll, a 2.5-hour hike along the scenic Taggart Lake trail, 9:30 a.m. daily from Taggart Lake trailhead on the Teton Park Road.
· Glimpses of the Grand Teton, a 30-minute talk about geology and park wildlife, 11 a.m. daily at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Wheelchair accessible.
· Teton Highlights, a 30-minute travel planner, 11 a.m. daily in Colter Bay Visitor Center auditorium. Wheelchair accessible.
· Autumn at the Preserve, a chat about fall changes in wildlife and plants, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily on the porch of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center. Wheelchair accessible.
· Walk into the Past, a 45-minute stroll around Menor's Ferry historic district near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, 1:30 p.m. daily from Menor’s Ferry General Store. Wheelchair accessible.
· Building Green, a 30-minute talk about the innovative design and sustainable features of the new Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center, 2 p.m. daily at the LSR Preserve Center.
· Wildlife You May Know, a 30-minute talk on Grand Teton’s diverse wildlife, 2:30 p.m. daily, at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Wheelchair accessible.
· Museum Grand Tour, a 45-minute tour of the David T. Vernon Indian Arts Exhibit, 3 p.m. daily in the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Arts Museum.
· Wildlife Caravan, a 3-hour wildlife auto-tour, 5-8 p.m. daily from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Limited to 10 vehicles, reservations are required. Reserve a space at the CTDVC or call 739.3399. Ride sharing encouraged. Dress warmly and bring binoculars or spotting scopes.
· Wildlife Watch at Oxbow Bend, a 90-minute wildlife watch offered at 6 p.m. daily at Oxbow Bend Scenic Turnout. Bring binoculars, cameras and questions. Wheelchair accessible.
· Jenny Lake Twilight Talk, 45-minute ranger talk, 6:30 p.m. daily at Jenny Lake Campground Circle.
· Evening Campfire Program, a 45-minute illustrated ranger talk presented 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at the Colter Bay amphitheater. Dress warmly. Wheelchair accessible.

Fall programs will be offered through September 30; however, the schedule is subject to change. For weekly updates on program changes or further information on any of the listed activities, please call either the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399 or the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594. The Craig Thomas, Colter Bay, Jenny Lake and Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve visitor centers are open daily during the month of September. While the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center is open year-round, the Jenny Lake Visitor Center closes for the season on September 27 and the Colter Bay and Rockefeller Preserve visitor centers will both close for the season on October 13.

Interagency Fire Managers Increase Fire Danger Rating to Very High

August 25, 2008
Teton interagency fire managers raised the fire danger rating back to Very High on Monday, August 25, as a result of dry conditions, hot temperatures, and curing vegetation. In addition, the National Weather Service has also issued a red flag warning, effective from noon Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday, August 26, due to high temperatures, low humidity, strong winds and the potential for dry lightning.

“The very high fire danger rating reflects a seasonal drying of vegetation in the low- and mid-elevation areas,” said Ron Steffens, fire use monitor for Grand Teton National Park. “After an exceptionally snowy winter and wet spring, we’ve seen below average rainfall in northwest Wyoming this summer.”

Recent fires in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park area have resulted from people leaving smoldering campfires or discarding lit cigarettes. Fire managers remind visitors to smoke only in areas of cleared of vegetation and to ensure campfires are completely out and cold to the touch before leaving them.

To report either smoke or a fire, please call 307.739.3630. For further information about fires in the greater Jackson Hole area, please contact Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307.739.5500 or visit http://www.tetonfires.com/.

Mountain Pine Beetles Affect Lodgepole and Whitebark Pines

Red Trees Conspicuous in Grand Teton

August 21, 2008
A number of red-colored trees interspersed throughout the conifer forests of Grand Teton National Park have captured the attention of visitors and local residents and prompted many questions about what is happening. These conspicuous red trees stem from a cyclic, natural phenomenon caused by mountain pine beetles, a native insect whose activities kill individual lodgepole and whitebark pine trees by damaging the phloem layer and cutting off the flow of water and nutrients between the roots and needles. Periodic outbreaks of mountain pine beetles play an important ecological role in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and are central to the life cycle of western forests.

The mountain pine beetle—the most common bark beetle and a natural part of forest ecosystems in western North America ranging from Mexico to British Columbia—evolved with lodgepole pines over the millennia. Climate plays a role in the proliferation of beetles, and warmer air temperatures of recent years have allowed bark beetles numbers to expand into higher elevation ecosystems, as well as to flourish where they have historically occurred. Vast numbers of beetles are needed to kill a single tree, and beetle numbers are sustained by the availability of suitable hosts, such as drought-weakened trees, as well as by mild winters that ensure successful beetle reproduction. While hearty pines typically use their resin as a defense against the boring activities of beetles, trees can become overwhelmed by prolific beetle outbreaks. Periodic increases of this insect, and the subsequent tree mortality, are part of a naturally occurring cycle. In fact, similar beetle infestations occurred throughout the Rocky Mountain West and in Grand Teton National Park during the 1930s and 1960s. Biologists and ecologists acknowledge that mountain pine beetle outbreaks help to create a mosaic of forest types and ages, and to maintain nutrient and energy cycling in a natural ecosystem, much like other natural events: fires, avalanches and microburst winds that topple large tracts of trees.

Currently, beetle-affected trees are most prevalent in mid-elevation lodgepole pine forests. This year, Grand Teton National Park is attempting to reduce beetle infestations in some key visitor use and developed areas by hanging white pouches containing a pheromone called verbenone on selected trees. Two pouches per tree (or 40 per acre) send a chemical message that a specific tree, or a general area, is already saturated with beetles; the pheromone application may reduce the likelihood that additional trees will be attacked. Lodgepole pines chosen for this treatment include: trees that are located in high visitor use or administrative areas where lodgepole pine is the predominant tree species; trees that were preserved during construction projects; and trees that contribute to the character of a specific area, such as picnic sites. The success and value of this strategy will be tracked and further assessed in the fall of 2008.

In the Jackson area, mountain pine beetles began attacking high-elevation whitebark pine forests about four years ago. Impacts to this species are extensive and ongoing. Park biologists are also using verbenone pouches to try to protect small numbers of individual whitebark pines that appear to be genetically more resistant to white pine blister rust, thereby preserving the seed source for the future. In the past, the high-elevation environment of the whitebark pine prevented mountain pine beetle from becoming abundant enough to kill more than a few trees at a time. However, warmer winters and longer growing seasons related to climate change have allowed the beetles to produce many more offspring in a faster period of time. Park biologists will also monitor the effectiveness of pheromone use among whitebark pine stands.

While the mountain pine beetle activity in whitebark pine ecosystems is atypical, the effects of beetles on local lodgepole pine forests are more common. There is some concern that an abundance of beetle-killed trees may increase the risk of wildland fires. Although extensive stands of dead trees can be flammable, current research suggests that once the red needles have fallen from the dead trees, the fire risk may be reduced in some situations.

Grand Teton National Park Conducts Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspections

Tour buses lined up for vehicle safety inspections

August 19, 2008
Commercial vehicle safety inspections conducted during Tuesday, August 12, and Wednesday, August 13 in Grand Teton National Park resulted in the discovery of several violations on commercial vehicles traveling through the park. A full-level inspection evaluates both the driver and the commercial vehicle to ensure full compliance with the federal regulations that govern these vehicles. Last week’s inspections were unannounced and focused on commercial buses and trucks.

Safety inspections were conducted through an interagency effort by Grand Teton National Park rangers, Federal Motor Carrier Administration personnel, and Wyoming Highway Patrol officers. A complete safety inspection station was assembled in Colter Bay Village, and every commercial vehicle traveling on Highway 89/287 through the park was diverted through the inspection station by federal and state officers. Vehicles inspected included passenger vans operated by local hotels for touring guests, vans operated by bicycle tour companies, commercial passenger buses, delivery vehicles, construction vehicles, and one commercial well drilling truck that was illegally traveling through the park. A total of 45 commercial vehicles were checked for safety issues that could lead to motor vehicle accidents, injuries to passengers and others, and/or resource damage to the park.

The inspections resulted in five vehicles being parked because their drivers had worked too many hours or had failed to properly log their hours worked. One bus operation was suspended until emergency exits could be repaired, and three other buses were taken out of service due to tire, brake and steering failures—two of these buses were operated by the same company, which had to arrange to have their buses towed from the park as they were unsafe to operate. In addition, one delivery truck was taken out of service until the brakes were repaired.

A total of 21 warnings were issued for seatbelt violations, and one person was issued a violation notice and mandatory court appearance for possession of a controlled substance.

This was the first time in several years that an interagency inspection program took place in the park. As safety violations are identified and addressed, it is expected that commercial vehicle operators and companies will improve their safety operations.

Free Screening of Don’t Move a Mussel at Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park

Mussels encrust shopping cart submerged in a lake

August 19, 2008
Grand Teton National Park will host a free screening of a film titled Don’t Move a Mussel in the Colter Bay Visitor Center auditorium at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 22. The 46-minute-long film, created by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, is open to the general public.

Don’t Move a Mussel was made possible through a collaborative effort between state and federal agencies and organizations working together under the 100th Meridian Initiative—an effort to prevent the spread of exotic species of mussels into the western United States. Major funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

The film is arranged in two parts. The first portion provides background information about the invasion of quagga and zebra mussels from the eastern United States into additional states; it explains their origins, distribution, biology and transport routes and outlines the impacts these non-native species could have on various regions of the country. This segment also contains ideas about how to avoid spreading and exacerbating the problem of exotic species such as quagga and zebra mussels and how to prevent their adverse impacts. The second part of the film teaches viewers about watercraft inspection and decontamination. This pragmatic segment includes detailed demonstrations of the inspection and decontamination processes.

The screening should be of particular interest to boat owners, to those who enjoy water recreation across the western states, and to anyone who is concerned about the impacts of exotic species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other vulnerable areas.

Greater Yellowstone Coalition Partners with Grand Teton National Park to Protect Wildlife

Wildlife Brigade Monitors "Bear Jam" at Willow Flats

August 18, 2008
In 2007, Grand Teton National Park established the Wildlife Brigade—a team of park rangers and citizen volunteers—to help manage human-wildlife interactions and to increase food storage compliance at park campgrounds and picnic sites through public contact and education efforts. This newly created wildlife-protection squad is thriving in its second year of operation thanks in part to the generosity of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) which provided funding for two positions with the 2008 brigade.

This year’s Wildlife Brigade team consists of three full-time National Park Service employees, three full-time volunteers, four part-time volunteers, and two full-time GYC internship positions. Although working in a variety of park settings, the team’s primary job is to educate the public about responsible and ethical interactions with park wildlife. These individuals spend their days assisting with traffic flow and people management at roadside “wildlife jams” and conducting patrols in developed areas to look for unsecured food and other bear attractants. They also provide visitor education at trailheads and on popular trails, offer interpretive education to park visitors about wildlife and other park resources, and collect wildlife and visitor use data.

Grand Teton National Park was able to supply limited funding for members of the Wildlife Brigade; however, additional positions became possible through volunteer help and the welcome funding provided by the GYC—a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the lands, waters, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The GYC recognized the importance of this new wildlife protection program and partnered with Grand Teton to help ensure its success. As a part of the pilot project, GYC funded two former University of Montana students, Ariel Blotkamp and Lee Rademaker, for the 2008 season. Blotkamp graduated from the University of Montana in 2006 with a degree in recreation resource management, and spent two summers in Glacier National Park researching the park’s new transportation shuttle system. Rademaker completed undergraduate work in 2005 in recreation resource management at the University of Montana, and earned a Master’s degree, also in recreation management, studying interpretive technology in parks.

Blotkamp says she very much appreciates the role non-profits like the GYC play in conservation. About her job with the brigade, she commented: “I like talking with so many different people from across the country and the world while traveling around the park to keep wildlife safe. I also love being a part of someone’s first wild bear sighting; their enthusiasm and appreciation for the bears makes me smile every time. I feel that this love of the bears and the park, and this face-to-face experience, are what drives the protection of the resources.” Rademaker concurs, saying that there are few situations more exciting than a wildlife jam. “Everyone, from the visitors to the volunteers and staff working the jam become so focused in the moment, so engaged in the excitement. I know they won’t ever forget their experience with the animals.” He added: “After six years of class work, it is nice to ‘ground truth’ some of what I learned.”

The two brigade members are excited to gain experience working for the NPS, since they both hope to one day obtain full-time positions with the agency.

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott praised the value of the Wildlife Brigade and commended the GYC’s support. “The brigade has become an essential component of this park’s wildlife management. It is crucial that we educate visitors about how to properly behave around wildlife, in order to keep both people and animals safe,” she said. She also said the new partnership with the GYC is a great example of how the park can work with other agencies and organizations to enhance resource protection in this ecosystem. “It demonstrates the ideological common ground that we share with the GYC. We are both concerned with maintaining diverse and healthy wildlife populations, with providing recreational opportunities, and with sustaining the ecological processes that make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem unique.” Both the park and GYC are guided by similar missions to preserve and protect this fragile ecosystem for future generations.

The Wildlife Brigade was launched in response to growing concerns for wildlife protection in the park. Thriving wildlife populations and a rising number of visitors to the park means a greater potential for interface between people and wildlife. Increased visibility of wildlife in the park—especially highlighted by the presence of bear #399 and her three cubs, that frequently use habitat near park roadsides—has also increased the incidence of wildlife jams. One of the primary responsibilities for members of the brigade is to educate both visitors and local residents about responsibly sharing habitat with wild animals.

Wildlife Brigade Patrol Park Campground for Food Storage Violations

Human-Caused Fire near Jenny Lake Lodge

Teton interagency fire personnel responded to a report of a small fire in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, August 16. The human-caused Trail Fire, located approximately 300 feet west of the one-way Jenny Lake scenic drive, was reported shortly after 12 p.m. by Jenny Lake Lodge staff. The fire was burning a single tree and nearby brush, with short-range spotting in dead and downed litter. Because it was human-caused, the 1/10-acre fire was suppressed.

Two park rangers and five firefighters with two wildland fire engines joined the Lodge staff—who had initially responded to the fire with shovels and fire extinguishers—at the scene and continued fire suppression activities. The fire was contained on Saturday at 2:45 p.m., and it is expected to be declared out on Sunday, August 17.

The Trail Fire was apparently ignited by a cigarette from a smoker or smokers using an undeveloped trail in the String Lake/Jenny Lake Lodge area. The fire burned in an area that had undergone a fuel-reduction treatment as well as a previous wildfire, which had reduced fuels in the area.

After several weeks of Very High fire danger, Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest have changed the fire danger rating to High. However, the Trail Fire offers a reminder that lower-elevation forests and sagebrush flats remain drier than normal this year. Continued dry weather is expected for August, and visitors are reminded to be cautious when building campfires. In Grand Teton National Park, campfires are only allowed in fire grates within frontcountry campgrounds and in established fire rings at some designated backcountry lakeshore campsites. Unattended or abandoned campfires can escalate into wildland fires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave the site. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use.

To report either smoke or a fire, please call 307.739.3630. For further information about fires in the greater Jackson Hole area, please contact Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307.739.5500 or visit www.tetonfires.com.

Temporary Road Closure Scheduled for Moose-Wilson Road

August 11, 2008
Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced today that a brief travel closure will be in effect on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road within Grand Teton National Park for about ten hours beginning at 7 a.m. on Thursday, August 14. The temporary closure is scheduled to allow for grading work to be done on the gravel roadbed. The Moose-Wilson Road will reopen by 5 p.m., barring inclement weather or equipment malfunction.

Road crews will complete the project in the shortest time possible; however, because this temporary closure prevents the ability to make a “through trip” on the Moose-Wilson Road, local residents and park visitors are advised to plan accordingly and detour around the road during the closure. For those visitors wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve or the Death Canyon trailhead, access will be possible by driving south from the junction with the Teton Park Road at Moose, Wyoming.

The gravel surface of the Moose-Wilson Road between the Granite Canyon trailhead and the old JY Ranch gate, 1.5 miles north of the trailhead, becomes eroded throughout the summer due to the volume of vehicles that travel on it. Road grading will create a smoother surface and provide an added measure of safety for motorists using this park roadway.

Roadwork schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.

Vehicle Rollover Accident Results in a Fatality in Grand Teton National Park

August 10, 2008
A single-car rollover on Saturday evening, August 9, resulted in the death of a sixteen-year-old male in Grand Teton National Park. The accident occurred at 7:05 p.m. on Highway 26/89/191, near the Elk Ranch Flats just 1.5 miles south of Moran junction. Seven people—an extended family from Washington State and Hungary—were traveling in a Honda Odyssey minivan when the accident occurred. The driver and six passengers sustained injuries; one of the passengers, an eight-year-old boy, suffered life-threatening injuries. Four of the vehicle occupants were wearing seatbelts and remained in the minivan; two passengers, including the deceased teenager, were ejected from the vehicle.

James Kochis, age 70, from Port Orchard, Washington, was driving southbound on the highway when his vehicle left the pavement for unknown reasons and rolled one or more times before coming to rest on all four wheels. The cause of the accident is under investigation; however, it appears that the tires of the minivan dropped off the pavement, forcing Kochis to make an abrupt correction, which caused the vehicle to roll and come to a stop on the east side of the highway after crossing both lanes of the highway.

The sixteen-year-old male passenger was ejected out of the rear window of the minivan and was pronounced dead at the scene. The eight-year-old boy received fractures to both legs and sustained other internal injuries. A park ambulance took the young boy and his father to St. John’s Medical Center, where he was transferred by Life Flight to Salt Lake City later Saturday night. The other four occupants were transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson for treatment of a variety of serious injuries.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report of the accident from the Teton County Sheriff’s Office shortly after it occurred. Approximately 20 park personnel (park rangers, emergency medical personnel, one Air Force EMT detailed to Grand Teton National Park and Teton interagency fire staff) as well as Jackson Hole Fire/EMS staff, Teton County deputy sheriffs and a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer responded to the accident. In addition to the interagency response, two physicians from St. John’s Medical Center, Dr. Will Smith (the park’s medical director) and Dr. Vaughn Morgan, also provided emergency medical care at the scene.

Teton interagency fire staff helped with traffic control at the Moran and Moose junctions to divert vehicles from the area. Other mutual aid assistance from Jackson included a Jackson Hole Fire/EMS rescue vehicle with an extrication team and two ambulances.

Due to the serious nature of the accident and the multiple ambulances and emergency medical personnel required to treat the numerous injured people, Highway 26/89/191 was closed to traffic from 7:10 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Traffic was rerouted through a detour along the Teton Park Road.

Climbing Fatality near Gilkey Tower in Grand Teton National Park

August 10, 2008
A 55-year-old man from Helena, Montana took a fatal fall while traversing the ridge between the South Teton and Cloudveil Dome with three companions on Saturday afternoon, August 9. Chris Pazder slipped on snow while crossing the south side of Gilkey Tower (elevation 12,320 ft.) and tumbled about 800 feet over steep rock before landing on a ledge on the north side of Avalanche Canyon. He was carrying an ice axe at the time of the slide, but was unable to self arrest.

Grand Teton National Park rangers were notified of the accident at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, when Pazder’s companions placed a cell phone call to Teton Interagency Dispatch Center to report the incident. Rangers immediately organized a rescue operation and requested the assistance of an interagency contract helicopter for air support. The helicopter flew to Lupine Meadows, picked up several rangers, and undertook an aerial reconnaissance flight. Pazder was located from the air, and rangers were able to verify that he was deceased.

A ranger who was on routine mountain patrol in Garnet Canyon was diverted from his backcountry route to the accident scene. He reached the three members of Pazder’s party just before 5:00 p.m. and assisted them with the descent to their camp in the South Fork of Garnet Canyon. They were able to hike out of Garnet Canyon on Sunday morning.

Because of an incoming thunderstorm and the time of day, rangers decided to wait until Sunday to attempt to recover Pazder. At about 7:00 a.m. Sunday, helicopter operations and the recovery effort resumed.

Rangers began their ground-based recovery operation on Sunday morning by flying six rangers to a landing zone near Lake Taminah, in Avalanche Canyon. The rescue personnel had to ascend 200 feet of technical terrain to the ledge where Pazder came to rest. The recovery operation was completed by early Sunday evening.

Injured Climber Rescued from Upper Saddle of Grand Teton

August 8, 2008
An injured climber was evacuated by helicopter from the Grand Teton on Thursday afternoon, August 7, in Grand Teton National Park. Merry Carny, age 46, of Salt Lake City, Utah sustained multiple broken bones after landing hard during a rappel from a cliff near the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton. Carny and her husband had successfully reached the summit and were on their way down when the accident occurred; neither climber was wearing a helmet at the time.

The Carnys climbed the Exum Ridge on the Grand Teton on Thursday morning and reached the summit at 12:30 p.m. They were descending the standard rappel near the Upper Saddle when Merry was unable to maintain friction on her climbing rope and ultimately slid about 50 feet before coming to an abrupt stop on the slope below the rappel route. She landed on her feet, but fell backward after the abrupt landing. Carny received injuries to her leg, side and back, and was unable to continue climbing. The Carnys used their cell phone to report their situation; however, because of their location on the Grand Teton, the call was received by the Driggs, Idaho sheriff’s office. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received notice of the accident at 1:30 p.m., and park rangers immediately summoned an interagency contract helicopter to assist with the rescue effort.

Three park rangers were transported by the contract helicopter to the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton, and one of those rangers was then inserted into the accident site via short-haul. Two additional rangers were flown by helicopter to the Lower Saddle along with necessary rescue equipment, and a second ranger was also inserted by short-haul into the accident site. Carny was given emergency medical care by the rangers and placed into a rescue litter for evacuation. She was then flown at 4:45 p.m.—with a ranger accompanying her—directly to the Jenny Lake rescue cache located on the valley floor. A park ambulance transported her to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson for further treatment of her injuries.

The remaining ranger accompanied Mr. Carny as he continued his descent from the Upper Saddle. Upon reaching the Lower Saddle, he too was flown by helicopter to the rescue cache to expedite his ability to join his wife at the hospital.

This marks the second major search and rescue operation in Grand Teton National Park in the past two days.

Seriously Injured Hiker Located After Major Search in Grand Teton National Park

Felder was located at the base of the cascade waterfall and snowfield

August 7, 2008
A seriously injured hiker was located and rescued Wednesday afternoon, August 6, from Avalanche Canyon in Grand Teton National Park after an extensive search effort that involved 65 searchers from multiple agencies: Grand Teton National Park rangers and trail crew, a Teton interagency helitak crew, and members of the Teton County Search and Rescue team. Fifty-eight year old Richard Felder, from Houston, Texas, was descending Avalanche Canyon on Tuesday morning, August 5, when he slipped on a snowfield just below Snowdrift Lake and tumbled at least 10 feet over a cliff. Felder received internal and head injuries, as well as several broken bones, and was unable to resume hiking. He spent an unscheduled night in the backcountry, enduring cold temperatures and his multiple injuries.

Felder and his wife, Patty, were on a backcountry trip, hiking the Teton Crest Trail together, when they opted to separate from one another at 7 a.m. on Tuesday after camping in the south fork of Cascade Canyon. Richard chose to hike out of the Tetons via a traverse over Avalanche Divide—a route he had read about in a recent issue of Backpacker Magazine. Patty continued to hike out the more traditional route through Cascade Canyon, intending to meet her husband at Jenny Lake sometime late Tuesday afternoon. When Richard failed to return by the appointed time, Patty reported him overdue to park rangers at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. Rangers began to coordinate a field search for Felder and planned to get searchers on the ground at first light the next morning.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, a team of two park rangers hiked from Taggart Lake into Avalanche Canyon, while another team hiked from Jenny Lake into Cascade Canyon to reach Avalanche Divide. These two “hasty search” parties met at Snowdrift Lake in Avalanche Canyon without finding Felder. The incident commander for the search effort also summoned the assistance of an interagency helicopter to provide aerial search capabilities. Because the interagency helicopter was temporarily out of service for maintenance, air operations did not begin until 11 a.m. In the meantime, over 20 searchers—including the park’s trail maintenance crew and Teton interagency fire crews—began an extensive ground search using a grid system to methodically cover assigned sectors of Avalanche Canyon from Taggart Lake trailhead. Once airborne, the helicopter was able to deliver approximately 15 searchers into the upper canyon using a landing zone at Snowdrift Lake; these people fanned out to search assigned locations above the lake.

Working a systematic search pattern from the air, rangers eventually spotted Felder at 4:52 p.m. Felder was lying near some rocks at the base of a snowfield about ¼ mile below Snowdrift Lake outlet; he became visible to the searchers after he waved his arm at the helicopter. Rescue personnel responded by foot from Snowdrift Lake, reaching Felder at 5:12 p.m. These first responders provided emergency medical care for his serious injuries and prepared him for immediate evacuation by helicopter. Felder was placed into a rescue litter at 5:40 p.m. and flown by short-haul with an attending ranger directly to Lupine Meadows where a park ambulance was waiting to transport him to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.

An investigating ranger was able to interview Felder in the hospital on Thursday morning, and Felder gave the following account of his ordeal: While descending from Snowdrift Lake (elevation 9,999 ft.), Felder found himself on a steep snow-covered slope; because he did not have an ice axe with him, he began to use his hiking pole as a brace to get himself to a more level area. As he traversed the snowfield, he started to slide, but was able to remain on his feet. He then continued to work his way toward a flatter spot, but broke through the snow into a shallow stream and hit his head on a rock. To climb out of the icy moat (lingering snow cover in the backcountry may be as deep as 15 feet), he took his pack off and tied it to his waist so that he could climb out of the snow cavity without interference from his backpack. He gradually worked his way out of this hollow using steps that he punched with his feet. As he was attempting to put his backpack on his shoulder, he slipped again. His backpack was still tied to his body, so as he slipped, its weight pulled him off balance, causing him to slide and then tumble over a 10-foot cliff. At this point, Felder was dazed and seriously injured. He tried to get a shelter from inside his pack and other items to help him with his injuries, but was unable to reach them. Felder noted that the temperature became quite cold with the setting sun. He also noted that the next morning he watched “helicopters come and go several times” and tried to get a yellow shirt from his pack to place onto his hiking pole to use as a signal.

Felder’s injuries were serious enough that he may not have survived a second night exposed to the elements in the Teton backcountry. He is scheduled to be flown to Houston for further intensive medical care on Friday.

The search and rescue operation was successful in locating and evacuating Felder in a relatively short period of time thanks to the combined efforts of park staff and interagency partners, including search coordinators from Teton County Search and Rescue.

The Teton backcountry can be difficult terrain in which to locate a single person, especially if they are injured and not moving. Rangers caution backcountry users that making a solo hike and climb includes a certain level of risk. If someone gets injured and cannot perform a self rescue, they may become vulnerable to the elements and be stranded for a period of time until a rescue and evacuation can be accomplished.

Wal-Mart Volunteers Assist with Projects in Grand Teton National Park

August 5, 2008
Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott is pleased to announce that volunteers from Wal-Mart have once again donated their time and energy to work in Grand Teton National Park. On Monday, August 4, a group of approximately 60 Wal-Mart volunteers joined park employees to assist with site clean-up projects at the Mormon Row Historic District and the recently acquired Hartgrave property—a former private inholding, located about five miles south of Moose on the Moose-Wilson Road. The volunteers, employees of Wal-Mart stores throughout southeastern Idaho, are participants in a company program titled “Volunteerism Always Pays” (VAP).

The Wal-Mart volunteers spent approximately five hours working with one of Grand Teton’s Student Conservation Association interns and staff from the Western Center for Historic Preservation—a workshop and training center based in Grand Teton National Park for historic preservation work throughout the greater Yellowstone area. Together, the group removed trash and debris from areas surrounding historic structures at Mormon Row, cleaning up both the inside and outside of these buildings. Volunteers also worked at the Hartgrave property, where they cleared trash piles and helped remove several small structures in order to facilitate extensive rehabilitation of this area. With help from Land and Water Conservation Funds and Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act funds, the park was able to purchase the Hartgrave property last year and begin taking steps to restore the 4.4-acre property to its natural state.

Wal-Mart’s VAP program began in 1995 as a way to encourage employees to connect with, and give back to, their local communities. Since then, the program has contributed more than 7 million hours to deserving organizations. In 2007, more than 1 million volunteer hours translated to approximately $6 million in VAP contributions. Mark Marvin, Wal-Mart market manager, said of the volunteers: “Our Grand Teton projects are a wonderful example of how a few hours of work will have long-lasting impact to the historic preservation at one of this region’s world-renowned national parks. Wal-Mart associates are proud to have a role in what we hope will be a turning point for these key park locations.”

“This is the third year that Wal-Mart has been a welcome park partner. The commitment and generous efforts of the VAP volunteers add immeasurably to our resource preservation work in Grand Teton National Park,” said Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “We are grateful to the Wal-Mart team for offering their time and skills toward the restoration of one of the park’s significant historical areas at Mormon Row, and one of the park’s newly obtained properties at the Hartgrave place. Through the assistance of these volunteers, we can better preserve the park’s distinctive cultural history, improve our ability to reveal the past by making areas safe for visitors to explore, and restore habitat for wildlife use.”

Previous years’ projects included rehabilitation of popular park trails and restoration work at the heavily-used Schwabacher’s Landing on the Snake River.

Menor’s Ferry in Operation at Grand Teton National Park

July 31, 2008
The historic Menor’s ferry boat is operating for the summer season, now that a high flow on the Snake River has subsided. Visitors can once again take a free ferry ride—with a qualified park ranger operating the helm—across the Snake River between Bill Menor’s store and Dornan’s. Located north of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park, the ferry is a central feature of the Menor/Noble historic district. The ferry provides park visitors with a unique opportunity to ride on an historic replica boat while learning firsthand about Jackson Hole’s settlement and transportation history.

Menor’s ferry consists of a platform deck which is set upon two pontoons for flotation. The ferry is tethered to a cable system that spans the river and operates by directing the pontoons toward the opposite riverbank, allowing the power of the current to push the craft across the river channel; the system uses river power, rather than motor power, to push the ferry across the water. This type of river travel existed in ancient times and was widely used throughout the U. S.

Bill Menor built the ferry in 1894, shortly after he arrived to homestead on the banks of the Snake River. Prior to ferry service, residents who lived primarily on the east bank of the river could only cross when the flow was low enough to ford, or when they traveled south to the small village of Wilson, Wyoming where they could cross over on a bridge. After the ferry began its operation, residents made regular trips to Menor’s homestead in order to cross the river to gather berries and firewood or to purchase wares from Menor’s general store.

Menor charged 25 cents for a horse and rider to cross the river and 50 cents for a team and wagon; pedestrians rode across for free. After the ferry was sold to Maud Noble in 1918, the price increased to one dollar for automobiles with local license plates, and higher fares for those from out-of-state. The original ferry became obsolete and ceased operation in 1927, when the State of Wyoming built a highway bridge across the river, just south of the Menor homestead.

The current ferry is a replica of Menor’s original craft. It was constructed by the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park and officially dedicated on August 25, 2000, as part of the park’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Fire Danger Rating Elevated to Very High

July 30, 2008
Teton interagency fire managers announce that the fire danger rating will be elevated to Very High for both the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park as of Thursday,
July 31. Recent hot temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions have increased the potential for intense fire activity. Local residents and visitors alike should exercise an extra measure of caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times.

When determining fire danger ratings, fire officials use several indices, such as: the moisture content of grasses, shrubs and trees; projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events); the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and the availability of fire-fighting resources. A fire danger rating of Very High means that fires can start easily, spread quickly and burn intensely.

Unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave their site. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use.

To report a fire or smoke in either area, call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, please contact Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307.739.5500, or visit the Web at www.tetonfires.com.

Extension of Signal Mountain Summit Road Paving Project

July 28, 2008
A paving project on the Signal Mountain Summit Road in Grand Teton National Park will be extended for an additional week, due to an unexpected equipment malfunction. Paving will be underway throughout this week from Monday, July 28 through Thursday, July 31, and continue through the following week from Monday, August 4 through Thursday, August 7. The road will be open to weekend travel on Friday, August 1, Saturday, August 2, and Sunday, August 3.

The temporary travel closure on the Signal Mountain Summit Road may cause inconvenience to some visitors and local residents; to avoid this road during the scheduled construction, alternate travel plans should be made during Monday through Thursday for the next two weeks.

If there are any additional changes to the road work schedule, the public will be notified as soon as possible. For road updates, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grte or call the park’s recorded information line on road conditions at 307.739.3614.