Celebrate National Park Wee and View Sage Grouse
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393
April 12, 2011
To celebrate the arrival of spring and National Park Week, park ranger naturalists will lead early-morning tours to observe strutting sage grouse as they perform their annual mating dance on an historic lek (strutting arena) located just off the Antelope Flats Road near Mormon Row. Strutting grouse trips will be offered on both Saturdays and Sundays of the following weekends: April 16-17, April 23-24, and April 30-May 1, 2011.
Strutting grouse tours begin from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 5:30 a.m. Reservations are required; to obtain information about what to wear and bring along on these free, ranger-led trips and make a reservation, call 307.739.3399.
Ranger-led excursions offer a unique opportunity to witness this spring-time ritual, as sage grouse congregate and perform animated mating displays. As participants view the antics of strutting grouse, rangers will provide information about their natural history and conservation efforts underway for sage grouse populations that are declining throughout much of the American West.
National Park Week is slated for April 16-24, and sage grouse tours are just one of many opportunities to connect with this year's theme, "Healthy Parks, Healthy People." The 2011 motto highlights the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role that America's national parks play in both. National Park Week also salutes the individuals, groups and associations that help make the National Park System one of America's greatest assets.
To highlight National Park Week, Grand Teton National Park-along with the entire 394 national park units across America-will waive entrance fees throughout the week. A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park is normally $25 for a private vehicle.
Additional information about National Park Week is available on the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/npweek.