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Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393
August 23, 2011
Motorists may experience a minor travel delay along Highway 26/89/191 between Elk Ranch Flats and Moran Junction on Saturday morning, August 27. The temporary delay will take place between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to allow for the safe movement of cattle from the Elk Ranch summer pastures just south of Moran Junction to the Pinto Ranch in Buffalo Valley. Park rangers will provide traffic control during this cattle drive.
Pinto Ranch wranglers will drive a herd of about 250 cattle eastward from the Elk Ranch area to the ranch using Highway 26/89/191 and then a right of way along Highway 26/287. When the cattle drive reaches a swampy area just south of Moran Junction, the animals will need to cross both this area and the Buffalo Fork Bridge via the roadway, which will cause a minor traffic delay of 15 to 20 minutes.
To avoid the temporary delay, 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 and Moose junctions. Every effort will be made to minimize the inconvenience to travelers using Highway 26/89/191 near Moran Junction on Saturday morning.
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 pastures at Elk Ranch Flats in order to minimize potential conflicts with predators in the Pacific Creek drainage. Saturday's cattle drive will complete the summer grazing operation and return the cattle to the Pinto Ranch before September.
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 purposes.