Ranger-led Snowshoe Hike by Full Moon

Big Dipper over the Tetons by Full Moon
(Photo by Bob Hoyle)
January 22, 2010
Grand Teton National Park ranger naturalists invite visitors and local residents to experience a special activity: a moonlit snowshoe walk in the park. The ranger-led excursion will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, January 30, from the Taggart Lake trailhead, three miles north of the Moose entrance station. Join park rangers to experience winter in a new light—the light of a full moon—and learn about the natural wonders and distinctive characteristics that make this season remarkable.

For thousands of years, people have used snowshoes as a means of winter travel. This activity is an excellent opportunity for beginning and casual snowshoe walkers to experience the pleasure of a winter trek in the company of others. The snowshoe walk will traverse a level, three-mile roundtrip distance along the snow-covered Teton Park Road. The two-hour-long excursion does not require previous snowshoeing experience, and snowshoes are provided for anyone without their own. Reservations are required; call 307.739.3399 to reserve a spot.

Those attending should wear warm layered clothing and sturdy insulated boots, and bring along an energy snack and water. Although headlamps or flashlights will not be needed, these items are recommended as essential safety equipment for any outdoor trek.

The snowshoe walk begins at twilight, a special time of day because of the exceptional quality of light. As the full moon rises on the eastern horizon, the open sagebrush meadows and towering Teton peaks will be bathed in a soft glow, creating a magical scene.

For a complete list of ranger-led activities and programs, please refer to the park’s newspaper, Teewinot, online at www.nps.gov/grte, or call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.

Recruiting for 2010 Youth Conservation Program

YCP Participant Works on Leigh Lake Trail
January 11, 2010
Grand Teton National Park is now recruiting participants for the 2010 Youth Conservation Program (YCP). Thanks to generous donations made by several donors through the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, this marks the fifth year that the park has offered this youth employment opportunity. Grand Teton plans to recruit 15-20 short-term positions. Applications must be postmarked by March 12, 2010.

The YCP is a summer employment program for high school students, ages 16 to 19. YCP enrollees develop an understanding of National Park Service (NPS) conservation ethics as they assist with critically-needed maintenance and rehabilitation on park trails and pathways. Participants work alongside NPS crew leaders and become familiar with NPS stewardship goals, while learning essential trail maintenance skills. YCP participants may also answer basic visitor questions and serve as park ambassadors as they complete project work on some of the most visible, and most impacted, park trails (i.e. Taggart, Bradley, Jenny and String lakes, and trails in the vicinity of Jackson Lake Lodge and Colter Bay).

YCP crews focus their efforts on projects dealing with rehabilitation of trails and backcountry areas through activities such as brushing, hazard tree removal, and construction of water bars and drainage swales. In addition to the project work, environmental education programs and various recreational opportunities are also offered.

The 2010 YCP program will run for ten weeks from June 14 through August 19. Participants must be at least 16 years of age by June 14, and live locally as housing is not provided. Applicants must also be United States citizens and students in good standing. Other qualifications include good team skills, a willingness to learn about Grand Teton National Park and its trail system, and the ability to work at a physically demanding job which may involve lifting 30-40 pounds. The program includes three work crews with five to six YCP trail members, and wages are set at $10.88 per hour.

As an extension of their mission to support new and innovative projects that add value to the park, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation provides funding for salaries, work boots, work pants, tee-shirts, and free transportation to and from Jackson for YCP participants. For more information about YCP and how to contribute to future YCP activities, or other Foundation programs, call Leslie Mattson at 307.732.0629, or email leslie@gtnpf.org.

To obtain an application or get further information about the 2010 YCP, please call Brian Bergsma in Grand Teton National Park at 307.739.3364, or write to YCP Program, GTNP, Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012. Applications are also available online at http://www.nps.gov/grte/supportyourpark/ycp.htm.

Moose HQ Site Work EA Available for Review

January 8, 2010
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced today that the Moose Headquarters Rehabilitation Site Work Environmental Assessment (EA) is now available for public review. This EA will be open to review for 30 days, from January 11 through February 9, 2010.

The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to perform site improvements that are designed to enhance visitor services and address employee health and safety deficiencies at Grand Teton National Park’s headquarters area in Moose, Wyoming. The site work would restructure vehicle/pedestrian access points, promote better traffic flow, reduce user-created trails and consolidate pedestrian walkways, and improve way-finding throughout the Moose headquarters complex. The purpose of the proposal is to upgrade and improve conditions in a way that enhances visitors’ experiences while providing a safe, healthy, and functional working/living environment for park employees and their families.

The NPS preferred alternative involves the reconfiguration of vehicle and pedestrian traffic within the park administrative area and the Moose river landing access, the removal of several temporary buildings, and restoration work targeted at providing appropriate stormwater management. The proposed improvements are designed to increase visitor and employee safety, refine parking and traffic flow patterns, reduce the built environment, and improve water quality while still preserving the character of the area and protecting natural and cultural resources. The preferred alternative would be developed as a plan to guide the proposed site work. The EA also evaluates a no-action alternative which describes the current condition with no site work applied.

For those choosing to submit a comment, be advised that any responses given—including personal identifying information—could be made public at any time. While persons making comments may request that their identifying information be withheld from public access, there is no guarantee that the NPS will be able to honor such a request.

Copies of the EA are available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov or on Grand Teton’s Web site at http://www.nps.gov/grte/parkmgmt/planning.htm. You may also request a copy through the park’s Planning Office by calling 307.739.3390.