• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Seasonal road closures in effect

    Seasonal road closures are in effect for motorized vehicles. The Teton Park Road is closed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge. The Moose-Wilson Road is closed from the Granite Canyon Trailhead to the Death Canyon Road. More »

  • Avalanche hazards exist in the park

    Avalanche hazards exist in the park, especially in mountain canyons and on exposed slopes. A daily avalanche forecast can be found at www.jhavalanche.org or by calling (307) 733-2664. More »

  • Bears emerging from hibernation

    Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation. Travel in groups of three of more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears. More »

Disturbed Lands

Thistle weeds

Canada thistle often invades disturbed areas and is difficult to remove once established.

 

Events often take place that alter the balance of an ecosystem and affect the species within. Areas can become altered, or "disturbed," through a natural or human-caused occurrence.

Natural disturbances range from earthquakes to fires to floods to volcanic eruptions. Human-caused disturbances include road construction, agriculture, and urban/suburban development. Disturbed lands may be barren, void of plant and animal life, following an incident. Some native species of plants thrive after a disruption of the natural balance. The first returnees to a burned area, for instance, are grasses that take advantage of increased sunlight, decreased shade, increased nutrients in the soil, and lower acidity levels in the soil.

After a disturbance, the topsoil is susceptible to erosion due to landslides after rainfall. Often a disturbed area is threatened by the generation of invasive, non-native or exotic plant and animal species. This is evident along roadsides in Grand Teton National Park that contain fields of Canada thistle, houndstongue, yellow toadflax (butter and eggs), and mullein. These new species do not have natural environmental controls (e.g. predators) and can easily out-compete native species. Eventually disturbed lands may become dominated by non-native species.

Did You Know?

Tetons from Hurricane Pass, KF

Did you know that Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950? The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor.