Spring Clean-Up Beautifies Grand Teton NP

Park employees remove buck and rail fence
May 1, 2009
Approximately 100 Grand Teton National Park staff and Grand Teton Association (GTA) employees joined together on Thursday morning, April 30, to carry out the park’s annual spring clean-up. Each year before the summer season is in full swing, park and GTA staff, along employees from park concessioners (Grand Teton Lodge Company, Signal Mountain Lodge, Triangle X Ranch, and Flagg Ranch Resort), set aside a day to remove litter and debris from roadsides and turnouts to “beautify” Grand Teton before summer visitors arrive.

This year, a fence removal project was also incorporated into the annual clean-up activities. A two-mile section of old buck and rail fence was removed along Highway 26/89/191 from the Airport Junction to the south end of Blacktail Butte. This project will improve wildlife movements across park lands and reduce costs associated with maintaining an aging and decaying structure. For several years, park employees and volunteer groups have been removing barbed wire fences, and other fence remnants, from the Antelope Flats area. Removal of the buck and rail fence eliminates a significant barrier to wildlife migration in this area of the park; it also reduces old fencing that no longer serves a practical purpose.

"Keeping Grand Teton free from unsightly trash is a relatively simple step that area residents and park visitors can also help accomplish. While park employees and the staffs of GTA and park concessioners collectively pick up trash each spring, anyone can contribute to keeping the park’s roadsides tidy by properly disposing of litter. This responsible act also reduces the chance of bears getting unintended food rewards,” said Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “It was great to see so many people in orange safety vests scouring the roadsides for trash and removing old fencing.”

Park and GTA staff enjoyed the positive attention they received from passing motorists who honked their vehicle horns as a way of showing support for the clean-up efforts in progress.