Grand Teton Artwork on Display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art

John Clymer’s painting “Sublette and Campbell, 1883”
is one of the pieces in the park’s fine art collection.

June 29, 2010
Selections of Grand Teton National Park’s fine art collection, previously on exhibit at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, will be temporarily on loan to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) for the next several months. In a continuing partnership with the NMWA, the artwork will be displayed in the Museum’s Wapiti Gallery while the Discovery Center is under construction to add an auditorium.

The park’s fine art collection was initiated by the Grand Teton Association in the late 1950’s; this eclectic collection features
work by John Clymer, Olaus Murie, Conrad Schwiering, Jim Wilcox,
Joanne Hennes, and Harrison Crandall, as well as many others. These prominent artists found creative inspiration from the Teton landscape, and each skillfully captured the spectacular scenery and wild inhabitants of this region. The notable collection serves as a testament to the crucial role that art has played in preserving
Grand Teton National Park and other public lands, and it highlights the historic significance of artwork throughout the Jackson Hole area.

During the summer of 2007, representatives from the curatorial department at the NMWA installed a selection of paintings from the Grand Teton collection in the newly built Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. When the Discovery Center opened in August of 2007, visitors were treated to a variety of interpretive exhibits, as well as a spacious art gallery featuring original work by some of the area’s greatest painters. Along with work from the Grand Teton collection, the NMWA also installed three of its own paintings: Mary Roberson’s Enchanted Forest, Conrad Schwiering’s Grand Tetons, and Richard Murray’s Cougar, along with a life-sized bronze sculpture by Dan Ostermiller, titled “Tres Osos” (Three Bears) depicting a mother grizzly and her two cubs.

“We are so grateful that the National Museum of Wildlife Art offered to house and exhibit the park’s fine art collection and make it accessible for public viewing during the time that construction is underway on the Craig Thomas Discovery Center,” said Acting Grand Teton National Park Superintendent John Wessels. “We value our partnership with the Museum, and appreciate their kind offer to care for Grand Teton’s fine art collection while exhibit space in the park is unavailable. During the next few months, we hope that visitors and local residents will take advantage of the opportunity to view pieces from the park’s collection in the world-class setting of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.”

The Grand Teton collection will be on display in the NMWA’s Wapiti Gallery from June through early September. The museum is located just north of Jackson, and open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reminder: Fireworks Prohibited on Federal & County Lands

June 29, 2010
As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, visitors and local residents alike are reminded that fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, or in Teton County. It is essential that everyone strictly comply with this regulation, especially given the drying conditions and warmer temperatures taking place across the greater Jackson Hole area.

Besides the fireworks prohibition on public and county lands, campers are reminded that unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires; therefore, it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site. Campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended, and should always prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready for use.

On Sunday, June 27, at least 10 unattended or abandoned campfires were discovered and extinguished by Teton interagency fire staff and law enforcement officials at campgrounds in Grand Teton and roadside campsites on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Any one of these campfires could have easily started an unwanted wildfire.

With the arrival of the annual fire season, area residents and visitors are requested to report a fire or smoke by calling 307.739.3630. For more fire information, please visit

Temp Closure for Moose-Wilson Road, June 30

June 29, 2010
Acting Grand Teton National Park Superintendent John Wessels announced today that a brief travel closure will be in effect on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road within the park for about 27 hours, beginning at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30. The road is scheduled to reopen by 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 1, barring equipment malfunction or rainy weather. The temporary closure is scheduled to allow for dust abatement work to be done on the unpaved roadbed.

Road crews will complete this project in the shortest time possible; however, because the temporary closure prevents the ability for making a “through trip” on the Moose-Wilson Road, local residents and park visitors are advised to plan accordingly and use an alternate route.

For those wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve or Death Canyon trailhead, access will be possible by driving south from the junction with the Teton Park Road near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming.

To alert travelers of the expected daytime road closure, electronic signs were placed on Wyoming Highway #390, beginning Tuesday, June 29. For motorists heading south to Teton Village, signs are also placed at the junction of the Teton Park Road in Moose.

The product used for dust abatement is a slurry of magnesium chloride. It is the same product that is used to treat dirt roads in and around Jackson Hole. This product coats the road surface, but it can also adhere to the undercarriage of vehicles; therefore, motorists who drive this portion of the Moose-Wilson Road after it reopens on Thursday may want to rinse off their vehicles to eliminate any residue.

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

Grand Teton to Offer Special Programs in June

June 22, 2010
Each year, Grand Teton National Park ranger naturalists endeavor to provide special programs that offer unique experiences for visitors; these programs are designed to augment the regularly scheduled ranger-led programs listed in the park’s newspaper, Teewinot. Five such programs are scheduled for the end of June. In addition, park visitors can get a temporary loan of a “naturalist family backpack,” and use its contents to learn about the natural world while exploring Grand Teton. Backpacks are available at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center (CTDVC).

The schedule for special programs includes:
Friday, June 25: Bird Walk, 7 a.m. (approximately two hours). Explore a rich riparian habitat to locate birds and observe their behavior. Meet at the Jackson Lake Dam parking lot. All levels of bird identification and knowledge are welcome. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes encouraged. Reservations are recommended, call 307.739.3594.

Saturday, June 26: Full Moon Hike, 10 p.m. (approximately one hour). Join rangers for an easy, moonlit walk along Colter Bay lakeshore and learn about Native American myths and legends about the moon. Meet at the Colter Bay Visitor Center flagpole. Group size limited; reservations are required, call 307.739.3399.

Monday, June 28: Canoe on Jackson Lake, 7:30 a.m. (approximately three hours). Enjoy a relaxing morning by paddling along the shores of Colter Bay and Jackson Lake. Meet at the Colter Bay marina. Canoe rentals are available at the marina or visitors can bring their own canoe or kayak. Group size and rentals are limited; reservations are required, call 307.739.3399.

Wednesday, June 30: Evening Bird Walk, 7 p.m. (approximately two hours or until dusk). Enjoy an evening of bird watching along the Snake River. Meet at Schwabacher's Landing parking area. All levels of bird identification and knowledge are welcome. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes encouraged. Reservations are recommended, call 307.739.3399.

Wednesday, June 30: Global Climate Change Talk, 9 p.m. (approximately 1 hour) in the Colter Bay Amphitheater. National Weather Service Meteorologist Arthur Meunier will talk about large-scale changes in weather and describe how those global changes may affect or influence the plants, animals and other resources throughout Grand Teton and across the State of Wyoming. For information, call 307.739.3594.

Naturalist Family Backpacks: Pakc activities focus on the artistic and creative talents of Olaus and Mardy Murie. Each backpack contains all the supplies needed for watercolor painting, pencil sketching, track castings, and outdoor journaling as well as information about the Muries and their lives, which were devoted to the conservation of natural resources. The packs are funded by a grant from the Center of Wonder—an organization dedicated to supporting educational programs integrating nature with the arts. Backpacks can be checked out from the CTDVC anytime after 8 a.m. and must be returned by 6:30 p.m.

Visitors and local residents are invited to join park ranger naturalists to experience these new and exciting activities. For more information, call 307.739.3399, or stop by the CTDVC near park headquarters at Moose.

Grand Teton Music Festival Concerts in the Park

June 21, 2010
Grand Teton National Park and the Grand Teton Music Festival are pleased to announce that a special concert series called “Music in Nature” will be offered again this summer at various park locations. A Grand Teton Music Festival resident string quartet will perform
30-minute musical recitals inspired by nature. The inaugural performance of the string quartet will take place on the terrace at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center on Monday, June 28 at 12:30 p.m. The free public concerts will run June 28 through
July 23.

The String Quartet was established by the Grand Teton Music Festival as a way to showcase promising young musicians with the festival orchestra that plays each summer at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village. These musicians will delight listeners through their recitals, continuing a musical tradition inspired by the beauty of Grand Teton National Park and its majestic scenery.

“The ‘Music in Nature’ concerts create a relaxing atmosphere that allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Teton landscape in an inspiring and moving way,” said Grand Teton National Park Deputy Superintendent Bob Vogel. “We are delighted to partner with the Grand Teton Music Festival again this summer to bring a special musical experience to our park visitors.”

Several park locations will host these concerts: Colter Bay Visitor Center, Jackson Lake Lodge and the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. The times and locations are:

Tuesdays & Thursdays
11:30 a.m., Colter Bay Amphitheater
12:30 p.m., Colter Bay Amphitheater

Wednesdays & Fridays
2 p.m., Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center Terrace
3 p.m., Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center Terrace
5 p.m., Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby
6 p.m., Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

Michael Nash: Grand Teton's New Chief Ranger

June 17, 2010
Acting Superintendent John Wessels announced today that Michael Nash was selected to fill the vacant chief ranger position at Grand Teton National Park. For two years (2008-2010), Nash served as the deputy chief ranger at Grand Canyon National Park before he took over as Grand Canyon’s chief ranger in February of this year. Nash replaces Andy Fisher who served as Grand Teton’s chief ranger from June 2004 until his retirement from the position this past April.

Nash will be responsible for the park’s Division of Visitor and Resource Protection: a division that includes the branch of ranger activities, the branch of fire and aviation management, the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center, and the fee and revenue program. The division performs a full range of public safety and service functions such as law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR), emergency medical services (EMS), wireless communications, structural fire response, and resource protection.

Nash started his National Park Service career as seasonal park ranger in 1992 at Acadia National Park in Maine. He landed a similar position at Grand Canyon in May of 1993 and worked through November of 1994 before he became a permanent park ranger with the primary responsibility of patrolling the backcountry and wilderness areas of Grand Canyon. In late 1999, Nash transferred to Yosemite National Park in California where he worked in the Valley District conducting front country patrols and SAR responses for this high use area of Yosemite. He accepted a detail (temporary) position as the EMS and SAR program coordinator at Yosemite in 2001 and served in that capacity for one year. In 2002, Nash transferred to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee as lead supervisory ranger for the Little River district. While working at Great Smoky Mountains, Nash also served as the acting North District ranger, and acting Cades Cove District ranger; he was also assigned to be the deputy operations chief during Hurricane Isabel in September of 2003.

Nash took a district ranger position at the South Rim of Grand Canyon in 2006, where in addition to conducting the major law enforcement activities for this busy park area, he also established a Volunteer-in-Parks visitor assistance program to support ranger operations. Nash once again accepted a detail (temporary) assignment as management assistant to the superintendent of Grand Canyon: a position he held for four months before becoming the deputy chief ranger at Grand Canyon in 2008.

Nash was born in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Akron in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in cartography/geography. He previously earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in computer drafting technology.

Nash will begin his new assignment at Grand Teton in early August. He and his wife, Julie, along with their children, Dylan (age 8) and Ella (age 5), look forward to experiencing the many outdoor recreational opportunities available in the park and throughout the Jackson Hole valley.

Road Construction Update for June 2010

June 17, 2010
Starting Monday, June 21, the Signal Mountain Summit Road will be closed to weekday travel while the road receives an asphalt overlay. This project requires a travel closure from Monday through Thursday, affecting weekday traffic. However, weekend traffic—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—will be allowed. The Signal Mountain Summit Road is a scenic byway accessed from the Teton Park Road, just south of Signal Mountain Lodge. Travel restrictions for weekdays will be in place from June 21 through July 1, or longer if inclement weather interrupts completion of this project.

Also beginning Monday, June 21, crews will be painting the Snake River Bridge near park headquarters at Moose. This project may cause 15 minute delays in traffic on the Teton Park Road near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

In addition, road striping projects are underway throughout Grand Teton, and may cause minimal delays on several park roads and turnouts.

A brief travel closure will be in effect on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road within the park for about 26 hours beginning at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30. The temporary closure is scheduled to allow for a dust abatement treatment to be applied to the dirt roadbed. The Moose-Wilson Road will reopen by 7 a.m. on Thursday, July 1, 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 use an alternate route. For those visitors wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve or the Death Canyon trailhead, access will be possible by driving south on the Moose-Wilson Road from the junction with the Teton Park Road at Moose. To alert travelers of the expected daytime road closure, electronic signs will be placed on Wyoming Highway #390, beginning Tuesday, June 29. For motorists heading south to Teton Village, signs will also be in place at the junction of the Teton Park Road, near the Discovery Center.

For road construction updates throughout the summer, phone the road information hotline at 307.739.3614.

For park information or additional road updates, call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399 or the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594.

Wyoming Conservation Corps Performs Restoration Projects in Grand Teton

WCC team helps improve interpretive path
in Grand Teton near the historic Murie Ranch
June 14, 2010
A Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) team of students from the University of Wyoming (UW) spent several days in Grand Teton National Park working on restoration and trail improvement projects in the Jenny Lake area and near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Moose, Wyoming. The WCC team also completed projects at the historic Murie Ranch in the park, and they are scheduled to carry out several projects on the National Elk Refuge.

The crew of six students plus two crew leaders replaced wooden benches in the Jenny Lake campfire circle where park ranger naturalists give their evening twilight talks throughout the summer. The assortment of old lodgepole pine and plank benches at the campfire circle have been in place for over 20 years and time had taken its toll on the wooden seats. The weathered and rotten benches were replaced with new ones made from Engelmann spruce trees harvested in Wyoming outside of Grand Teton.

The WCC crew also helped improve an interpretive path that connects the Craig Thomas Discover and Visitor Center with the historic Murie Ranch. The half-mile-long path allows visitors an opportunity to stroll past blue spruce forests and sagebrush meadows to get a glimpse of the wilderness values that the Muries fought so hard to protect. The final destination of the path, the Murie Ranch, was home to Olaus, Mardy, Adolph and Louise Murie, and it served as the nexus for the modern American conservation movement.

The WCC program, founded in 2006, is an AmeriCorps program supported by the University of Wyoming Environment and Natural Resources Department. Their mission is to connect young adults with a diverse array of hands-on natural resource and environmental management experiences, and to promote leadership through the completion of service projects that benefit lands in Wyoming. Teams of students spend the summer working on habitat restoration and construction projects in partnership with state and federal agencies. Last summer, 39 students contributed more than 28,000 service hours, and in summer 2010, 48 students are scheduled to work on WCC projects.

“We appreciate the hard work of the WCC team and their willingness to take on rehabilitation projects in Grand Teton that the park cannot otherwise accomplish,” said Deputy Superintendent Bob Vogel. “We also appreciate the conservation values promoted by student conservation programs, such as WCC, and we hope participants in this program will become inspired to seek future employment with the National Park Service.”

Park ranger naturalists offer their twilight talks at the Jenny Lake campfire circle each evening at 7 p.m. A ranger-led walk called “Voices for Wilderness” takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays from the Discovery Center. These free, ranger-led programs provide participants with an educational experience, as well as the chance to see the handiwork of the WCC team.

Federal & Local Fire Crews to Train Together

June 11, 2010
This Saturday, June 12, fire crews from Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS will collaborate in training sessions for the North Zone All Fire Day: a cooperative effort dedicated to fire season preparation and proficiency drills.

During the morning, approximately 80 firefighters will gather at the Wilson Elementary School for indoor workshops covering topics such as fire and medical response skills, GPS map and compass use, interagency radio plans, fire ecology, ignition techniques, incident command and dispatch protocols, and incident planning.

In the afternoon, the group will move to the Stilson Lot’s north parking area to hone various firefighting skills. This area will be closed to the public during the training sessions. Firefighters will actively train in engine drills, hose lays, line digging, medical transport, helicopter site selection, and radio and command operations.

“Annually this effort has helped to build positive relations and protocols between federal and local agencies,” said Steve Markason, North Zone Fire Day committee chair. “It benefits all of us to train together and get to know each other, and it’s an important time for preseason planning.”

All Fire Day training was established in 1998 to provide opportunities for interagency fire personnel to complete field exercises that test basic and essential skills. The exercises also promote safety and efficiency in wildland firefighting, while building relationships and better communication through increased agency coordination.

For more information on Teton Interagency Fire, visit online at

Grand Teton Fills Key Positions in Jenny Lake Subdistrict & Fire Management Office

Scott Guenther, Jenny Lake Subdistrict Ranger

Chip Collins, Fire Management Officer
June 10, 2010
Acting Superintendent Bob Vogel is pleased to announce the selection of two critical park positions. Scott Guenther was chosen as the lead ranger for the Jenny Lake Subdistrict; he will manage the park’s search and rescue operations as well as the backcountry and climbing program. Chip Collins was named as Grand Teton’s Fire Management Officer and will supervise the park’s wildland fire operations in coordination with the functions of the Teton Interagency Fire network. Guenther replaces Renny Jackson, who served as the Jenny Lake Subdistrict Ranger for over five years, and Collins replaces Lisa Elenz who transferred to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise in the fall of 2009.

Scott Guenther brings a great deal of experience to his new position as Jenny Lake Subdistrict Ranger. He has worked at Grand Teton for 20 years. For eight consecutive seasons from 1995 to 2002, Guenther worked as a seasonal climbing ranger in the Jenny Lake Subdistrict, and for the past eight years, he has served as a permanent Jenny Lake Area ranger. As with others before him, climbing is both Guenther’s passion and profession.

Guenther began his National Park Service (NPS) career at Grand Teton in 1991 when he volunteered as a lake patrol ranger during his days off from duties with the Grand Teton Lodge Company. That winter, he attended an NPS seasonal law enforcement academy and was subsequently hired as a law enforcement ranger stationed at Colter Bay, a position he held from 1992-1994. Guenther became a backcountry ranger working in the Jenny Lake Subdistrict in 1995, and was hired on as a Jenny Lake climbing ranger under Mark Magnuson in 1997.

Guenther moved to Grand Teton in 1991 after graduating from college to begin a summer position with the Grand Teton Lodge Company. He claims that he did not realize the full impact of the Teton Range until he saw them for the first time while driving over Togwotee Pass in early May. That summer, Guenther spent as much time as he could discovering and exploring the Teton backcountry. His experiences inspired him to take personal responsibility for the preservation and protection of Grand Teton’s resources and its wilderness character—a goal he continues to pursue.

Guenther was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and earned a BA degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He and his wife, Anna Chalfoun—a PhD. wildlife ecologist and research scientist with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit and Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming—enjoy climbing, biking and skiing.

Chip Collins has served as the acting Fire Management Officer (FMO) for Grand Teton during the past eight months. In that capacity, he supervises the park’s wildland and prescribed fire operations and coordinates local firefighting operations through an interagency fire management team that includes staff from Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. Collins also assists in the fire management oversight of three other national park units—Fossil Butte National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, and Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area. Before he took over as the acting FMO, Collins was the park’s assistant FMO, a position that he has held since 2002. In addition to his duties as assistant FMO, Collins also functions as a long-term fire analyst, and a Type 2 fire use manager, prescribed fire manager, and burn boss. Prior to his current position at Grand Teton, Collins was the prescribed fire specialist from 2000-2002 at Redwood National and State Parks in northwestern California.

Collins began his fire career as a seasonal employee in 1988, the legendary Yellowstone fire season. He worked for six years as a sawyer, firefighter, and prescribed fire monitor in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. He spent five years working as the fire program assistant at Grand Teton, followed by two years (1999 -2000) managing the environmental monitoring program and leading wildland fire use activities at a Everglades National Park.

Collins played a leadership role during the Blacktail Fire of 2003 and supervised the fire response effort during the September 2009 Bearpaw Bay Fire in Grand Teton. On both fires, Collins coordinated interagency firefighting efforts during the initial attack phase and remained directly involved throughout the extended firefighting period.

Collins received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree in 1986 from the University of Georgia, School of Environmental Design.

He and his wife, Holly McKinney, have raised their three children, Hunter, Bailey and Hayden, in Grand Teton and are long-time residents of Jackson Hole. When not working on fires or fire management planning, Collins keeps busy with family activities and loves to float the river.

Temporary Closure of Trail to Garnet Canyon & Surprise/Amphitheater Lakes

June 8, 2010
A temporary closure of the trail to Garnet Canyon and Surprise & Amphitheater Lakes will be in place from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 10, beginning at the junction with the Valley Trail and continuing to higher elevations. The temporary closure is necessary to allow for the removal of a large boulder that tumbled downhill and lodged on the slope above a spot on the trail called Three-mile Junction.

Grand Teton National Park’s trail crew will remove the boulder from its perch and reopen the trail by Thursday afternoon, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Hikers intending to use the Lupine Meadows trailhead to reach Garnet Canyon or Surprise and Amphitheater lakes should either make alternate plans for the day or plan to start their hike at noon.

The trail will be signed as closed to public entry, and park staff will be stationed to reroute hikers during the temporary trail closure.

Springtime snowmelt and ground thaw often cause rock slides and sloughs on the steep slopes of the Teton Range. Debris slides and dislodged boulders require early season trail work that may include occasional trail closures to ensure the safety of backcountry hikers.

To learn about current trail conditions throughout Grand Teton National Park, visit online at

Cattle Drive to Happen near Moran Junction

Pinto Ranch wranglers drive 250 head of cattle to Elk Ranch patures

June 7, 2010
Motorists may experience a minor travel delay along Highway 26/89/191 from Moran Junction to the Elk Ranch flats (one mile south of the junction) on Saturday morning, June 12, between the hours of 6:45 and 8:30 a.m. The temporary delay will allow for the safe movement of cattle from the Pinto Ranch of Buffalo Valley to the Elk Ranch pastures, which lie south of Moran Junction and the Buffalo Fork River. Park rangers will provide traffic control for the cattle drive.

Pinto Ranch wranglers will drive a herd of about 250 cattle westward from the ranch using a right of way along Highway 26/287. When the cattle drive reaches Moran Junction, the animals need to cross the Buffalo Fork bridge, causing a delay of 30–40 minutes while cattle clear both the bridge and a swampy area just south of the bridge.

To avoid the temporary road delay during the cattle drive, local residents and park visitors may choose to travel an alternate route through Grand Teton National Park using the Teton Park Road between Jackson Lake Junction and Moose Junction. Every effort will be made to minimize any inconvenience to travelers who may be using Highway 26/89/191 to access Moran Junction during the early morning cattle drive on Saturday.

Grand Teton officials requested that the Pinto Ranch shift their cattle from their historic, free-range Pacific Creek grazing allotment north of Moran to the fenced Elk Ranch pastures in order to minimize potential conflicts with predators living in the Pacific Creek drainage.

In accordance with the 1950 Grand Teton National Park enabling legislation, certain historic grazing privileges were retained. Since that time, the fenced and irrigated Elk Ranch pastures have been used for cattle grazing.

Children in Nature Multicultural Program Scheduled for the Summer

Latino students learned about park wildlife and examined animal pelts in the spring sessions of Pura Vida en Grand Teton NP.

June 7, 2010
In collaboration with Teton Science Schools, Grand Teton National Park will continue a multicultural program designed to connect local Latino students with nature. Two inaugural sessions for the Children in Nature Multicultural Engagement Program— called Pura Vida en Grand Teton National Park—took place in late March and early April. Participants will get an opportunity to explore, and learn about the park and its natural and cultural resources during summer sessions scheduled for June 14-18, August 2-6 and August 16-20.

The Children in Nature Multicultural Engagement Program received support through a target project called America’s Best Idea Grants and acquired funding from a generous matching grant provided by the National Park Foundation (NPF), Grand Teton National Park Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.

The summer sessions of Pura Vida en Grand Teton National Park will bring together approximately ten middle school, as well as three high school students who will serve as mentors. Prior to each week, youth mentors will meet with Teton Science Schools’ staff to ensure that they learn the skills and get the support needed to mentor younger students.

At the start of each weeklong session, students will watch a short video titled This is America which highlights the Ken Burns documentary film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This program will be shown at 10:15 a.m. and is also open to the general public. Students will then spend the remainder of each week exploring Grand Teton, learning about park resources and operations, and becoming acquainted with the many occupations and duties required to run the park. Students will participate in various activities from canoeing and meeting horses used by backcountry patrol rangers, to learning about wildlife and taking a behind the scenes tour of the park administration building and the operational facilities located in the headquarters area. The week will conclude with a picnic celebration for the students and their parents.

Ken Burns’ documentary on national parks served as a catalyst for the Children in Nature Multicultural Engagement Program. The landmark film inspired the NPF to establish an America’s Best Idea Grants program. Through matching grants, the NPF hopes to reach traditionally underserved groups and empower them to create strong, lasting bonds of stewardship with our treasured lands—continuing a tradition of diverse Americans working together to preserve and enhance the legacy of national parks.

Grand Teton’s Pura Vida program was specifically created to reach out to the Latino population in the park’s gateway communities, introduce Latinos to Grand Teton’s recreational opportunities and unique resources, and provide leadership development and mentoring opportunities to middle school and high school students. The spring sessions were instrumental in introducing students and their parents to the many features of Grand Teton and the value of experiencing the park’s wildlife and beauty. Six middle school and nine high school students participated during the March and April sessions.

For those interested in registering for one of the summer programs, please contact Teton Science Schools Registrar Judy Herman at 307.734.5659. For more information on the Children in Nature Multicultural Engagement Program, or other park educational outreach efforts, please contact Susanne McDonald at 307.739.3656.

Contract Awarded for Grand Teton Headquarters Rehabilitation Project

The Moose HQ Rehabilitation Project will improve
park operations and visitor services.
June 3, 2010
Grand Teton National Park has awarded a $12.6 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to Advanced Solutions Group, LLC from Kaysville, Utah and their partner Big-D Construction of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The two companies will complete a rehabilitation of the park’s 68,300-square-foot Moose Headquarters Complex. This extensive renovation project was designed by AJC Architects of Salt Lake City in 2006; it will require three phases for its physical completion. Construction work is expected to begin in mid June.

Since 2005, the park has been working to resolve significant health/safety concerns at its headquarters campus and address long-term maintenance issues through the removal and consolidation of buildings. This project is consistent with the Recovery Act goal of increasing the energy efficiency of federal buildings. It is registered for the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The LEED certification will be earned in part because the project implements energy efficiency and environmental sustainability through water and energy saving equipment and a renewable ground-source heat pump. The project also includes innovation in design, as well as environmentally responsible site planning, careful selection of building materials and other resources, and improved indoor air quality. At completion of the project, the park will reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the current headquarters complex by 50 percent.

“These improvements will allow Grand Teton National Park to address critical maintenance issues while also improving health and safety conditions for park employees and enhancing services for the millions of people who visit the park annually. In addition to creating local jobs, this project supports the tourism industry that is so important to the economy and vitality of Jackson Hole,” said Acting Grand Teton Superintendent Bob Vogel.

Under the Recovery Act, the Department of the Interior is investing $3 billion to conserve America’s timeless treasures. This includes an historic $750 million for the National Park System to help preserve and protect national icons and historic landscapes, such as Grand Teton National Park. The Interior Department is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, youth employment, and community service.

“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department’s economic recovery projects. The public is able to follow the progress of each project on and Secretary Salazar also appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency set by President Obama.