Bears are active in Grand Teton
Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »
Area closure in the area around Baxter's Pinnacle
An area closure is in effect around Baxter's Pinnacle to protect nesting peregrine falcons. This closure precludes any climbs of Baxter's Pinnacle and usage of the walk-off gully. This closure will be in effect through 8-15-2013. More »
Grand Teton NP Clarifies Supt's Compendium for Wildlife Protection & Public Safety
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393
July 27, 2011
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott today authorized a clarification of the 2011 Superintendent's Compendium to more clearly describe regulations for safe wildlife viewing and allowable distances between visitors and wildlife. The clarification was prompted by the increased size and complexity of "wildlife jams" associated with the presence of grizzly bears near park roadways.
A long-standing provision of the compendium required that visitors keep a specified distance from wildlife. This historic provision was based upon determinations by previous superintendents that such limitations were necessary for the protection of wildlife and the safety of visitors. The allowable distance between visitors and wildlife has been defined as 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other animals, including nesting birds. The current compendium maintains those distances, but provides improved clarity to the rule by eliminating language that was ambiguous or unclear. The compendium now states, "The following activities are prohibited:
The appearance this year of grizzly bears #399 and #610 and their collective five cubs creates unprecedented opportunities for park visitors to view superb wildlife; these opportunities also increase appreciation for animals and national park values. At the same time, the tremendous interest in viewing these bears and other wildlife has resulted in large wildlife jams and caused situations where the well being of both visitors and animals may be in jeopardy. Wildlife viewing opportunities-and wildlife jams in particular-can be very fluid situations due to the unpredictable behavior and movement of animals, the ebb and flow of traffic, and other factors. After a bear charged two different vehicles on two separate occasions while people stood on their car roof, park managers recognized the need to more strictly enforce the established regulations for wildlife viewing to better secure the protection of animals and ensure visitor safety.
While Grand Teton provides remarkable opportunities for visitors to experience and enjoy wildlife and other resources, park managers must also establish conditions that allow sufficient and appropriate space in which individual animals can move unencumbered as they search for food and other critical needs.
Did You Know?
Did you know that until the 1890s no one had settled on the west bank of the Snake River in the central part of Jackson Hole? William “Bill” Menor built a ferry at Moose to shuttle patrons across the river, the only reliable crossing point between Wilson and Moran.