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Annual Cattle Drive to Cause Minor Traffic Delays near Moran Junction

cattle drive
Pinto Ranch wranglers drive cattle to Elk Ranch pastures in Grand Teton National Park.

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Date: June 7, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

June 7, 2011

11-41

Motorists may experience a minor travel delay along Hwy 26/89/191 from Moran Junction to the Elk Ranch flats (one mile south of the junction) on Saturday morning, June 11, 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 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.

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

Did You Know?

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Did you know that Uinta ground squirrels, sometimes mistaken for prairie dogs, hibernate up to eight months a year? These animals leave their burrows in March or April to inhabit the sagebrush flats, but may return by the end of July.