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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
Grand Teton National Park and Teton County entered into an agreement this week and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide regular grooming for Nordic and skate skiing along the Teton Park Road in partnership with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. As an extension of community grooming activities outside the park, Teton County has agreed to pilot a program to groom 15 miles of the snow-covered Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake trailhead and Signal Mountain Lodge within the park.
Park officials and the Teton County Board of Commissioners reached this partnership agreement in part to support healthy outdoor recreation on this popular winter trail within Grand Teton. Since 2002, park staff have periodically groomed the snow-covered Teton Park Road whenever time and funding allowed. However, financial and staffing constraints often prevent grooming from occurring on a consistent basis.
Through the new MOU, Teton County will groom the Teton Park Road one or more days per week, generally on Saturdays. In addition, park staff will continue to groom other days of the week as time and staffing allow. This agreement allows for grooming to occur until plowing operations get underway to facilitate the spring opening of park roads to vehicles.
The grooming status will be provided on Grand Teton's recorded road condition hotline at 307.739.3682 and posted on the park's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GrandTetonNPS. The Teton County Parks & Recreation's http://www.tetonparksandrec.org/ website will also provide an update on grooming status.
As a part of the MOU, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, the park's primary fundraising partner, will accept restricted private donations for the purpose of grooming the Teton Park Road and reimburse Teton County for their costs.
"We look forward to working with Teton County on this new partnership initiative, and we hope that the pilot program will provide a measure of certainty for Nordic and skate skiers who regularly use the Teton Park Road for recreation and inspiration," said Acting Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "Through our cooperative efforts, we are providing an opportunity for park visitors to enjoy healthy activities, such as skiing and snowshoeing, while surrounded by the unparalleled beauty and serenity of a Teton winter."
Teton County/Jackson Parks & Recreation Department maintains a series of pathways in and around Jackson, and in winter months, County personnel also groom a portion of these pathways for Nordic skiing. The County has the grooming expertise and ability to operate and maintain their own equipment for these purposes. They will now use that same equipment and staff to groom the Teton Park Road within Grand Teton National Park.
"Teton County Parks & Recreation is pleased to participate in this pilot grooming project, " said Steve Ashworth, Teton County Parks & Recreation Department director. "This MOU allows us to expand our current winter trail grooming to include a favorite destination within Grand Teton National Park for locals and visitors, and we look forward to a successful program through the remainder of the season."