April 22, 2009
Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today in Washington D.C. that the National Park Service (NPS) will invest $750 million in nearly 800 projects to stimulate the economy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of this national initiative, Grand Teton National Park was awarded over $18.8 million for several projects that will address deferred maintenance, energy efficiency, and youth participation. The allocation of these funds will also help stimulate local and regional economies, while creating job opportunities.
The most significant project selected for Recovery Act funding in Grand Teton is the rehabilitation of the Moose Complex. This project will consolidate park operations, office space, and visitor services in order to improve health and safety for park employees and visitors, to increase energy efficiency and reduce the park’s carbon footprint, to provide for better visitor use at the Snake River boat landing and new multi-use pathway trailhead, and to combine park functions to achieve an overall reduction in building space. Planning and approval for this large-scale project have already been achieved, and the project is ready for bid announcement in the fall of 2009, with a contract award expected in January of 2010.
A separate project to replace a failed maintenance building at Colter Bay was also selected. In addition, funding was awarded to rehabilitate one of the park’s most popular trails—the Granite Canyon trail. As part of the Recovery Act, the NPS hopes to engage young people and develop future stewards of public lands. The Granite Canyon trail project will ultimately create approximately 25 new job opportunities for young people and provide an opportunity for them to learn about the NPS, Grand Teton, and natural and cultural resource management. People, who get a first job with the NPS, often become career employees that carry on the critical work of preserving our American heritage.
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott stated, “The allocation of Recovery Act funds for national parks across the nation is welcome news and unprecedented in its scope. We appreciate this opportunity to help get the American economy working again, while at the same time addressing our maintenance backlog, energy deficiencies and resource conservation needs. These projects will have long-term benefits to park visitors and the greater Jackson Hole community, and we are proud to be playing an instrumental role in the recovery of the regional economy in northwestern Wyoming.”
The complete list of all National Park Service projects funded by the Recovery Act is online at www.doi.gov/recovery/nps.