May 10, 2011
Grand Teton National Park recently accepted delivery of five, 2011 Ford Escape hybrid vehicles through a program sponsored by Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition (YTCEC). Purchase of the hybrid vehicles—worth $146,175 dollars—was made possible through a $547,645 grant secured by YTCEC in partnership with Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. The program and grant were developed to support a variety of clean transportation projects in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA).
The five hybrids provided to Grand Teton National Park replace older, less efficient vehicles used by the park’s Wildlife Brigade: a corps of paid and volunteer staff whose primary duties are to respond to wildlife jams and enforce food storage at campgrounds, picnic sites and other developed areas. The vehicles will see thousands of hours of operation in their first season and reduce fuel use by an estimated 30% over conventional vehicles.
YTCEC Executive Director Phil Cameron stated, “An exciting aspect of the grant is the ability to support Grand Teton’s existing green initiatives, address their fleet needs, and provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase cleaner, more efficient vehicles to park visitors. These vehicles will have high visibility and we hope that visitors walk away realizing that hybrids represent a viable, effective means to reduce fuel consumption.”
“We appreciate the assistance provided by Phil Cameron and the Clean Energy Coalition in securing a grant to purchase hybrid vehicles for use in Grand Teton National Park,” said Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “The new Ford Escapes will go a long way toward reaching our goal of reducing energy consumption 20% by 2012. This initiative and its partnership program are instrumental in achieving conservation goals that protect not only park values but also America’s energy resources.”
As regional designee of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Program, YTCEC worked with both Grand Teton and Yellowstone to identify and sponsor appropriate projects under a new Clean Cities/National Parks Initiative designed to reduce petroleum use and improve air quality, as well as educate the general public about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.
Under the same grant, Yellowstone National Park will purchase two hybrid transit buses that will perform a variety of functions, from employee shuttles to visitor transportation opportunities. Additionally, the park will purchase and deploy an electric utility vehicle, with solar charging station, to be deployed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. Total allocation for Yellowstone is $280,000.
The remaining funds ($121,470) will be used throughout the GYA to advance clean vehicle technologies. This will include the purchase of two additional hybrid vehicles and idle reduction technologies, and launch an educational program about unnecessary idling. YTCEC will also provide ongoing support as these various projects are implemented throughout the various GYA federal and state agencies.
One of 87 Clean Cities Coalitions across the country, YTCEC’s mission is to displace the use of petroleum in the transportation sector, reduced harmful emissions and improve air quality, increase energy security through promotion of alternative fuels and vehicles, integrate transportation systems, and provide conservation strategies and technologies that benefit the public and the environment. YTCEC works with a diverse array of stakeholders throughout the GYA as the DOE’s on-the-ground advocate for petroleum displacement activities.