The Moose-Wilson corridor is a special place to visit in Grand Teton National Park because of its rich wildlife habitat and abundant recreational opportunities. Over the past few years, the National Park Service has been working hard to develop management options for the Moose-Wilson corridor that provide appropriate opportunities for visitors to use, experience, and enjoy the area while protecting the park’s nationally significant resources.
In an important step in this process, Grand Teton National Park recently released their draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the management of the Moose-Wilson corridor.
This draft is a key step toward ultimate management of the corridor and represents the park’s continued commitment to a transparent, science-based, and participatory National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that included the earlier scoping and preliminary analyses stages.
Because the Alliance believes we should make decisions based on honest conversations about the long-term consequences of our actions grounded in facts and data, we are encouraged by the series of studies the park released that guided the development of the preferred alternative. Studies like the Human-Bear Interaction Risk Assessment that provides in-depth analysis of the human safety hazards from bears and impacts to bears and their habitat associated with preliminary alternatives for the Corridor Plan, combined with other reports on the archaeology, scenery, cultural resources and soundscape, along with extensive analysis regarding how visitors use and experience the corridor, provided vital information that helped the park arrive at their preferred alternative to best manage the Moose-Wilson Corridor.
We’re currently hard at work evaluating the almost 700 page draft document to understand how the preferred alternative, Alternative C, advances our vision for the Moose-Wilson corridor.
Through this evaluation, we are looking to see how well this alternative aligns with our vision that:
- The Moose-Wilson corridor is a unique part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Grand Teton National Park that harbors a diversity of wildlife, habitats, streams, rivers, and scenic resources. It provides an unparalleled chance to experience some of Grand Teton’s most spectacular wildlife, habitat, and scenery. The National Park Service has an obligation to protect and preserve these resources and must focus their efforts on doing so.
- The Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan should focus on long-term protection for wildlife and habitat in the Moose-Wilson corridor while making it easy and safe for people to visit this unique area on foot, bicycle, or public transit.
- The Moose-Wilson corridor is not a transportation corridor for people trying to drive across the county. It is a special place to visit in Grand Teton National Park because of its rich wildlife habitat and abundant recreational opportunities. It is not the park’s job to manage local transportation needs.
Our first impression is that the park has: proposed novel ideas for limiting and significantly slowing down vehicular traffic (which combined with paving road sections will make bicycling much safer and easier), left open options for future transit service, and protected wildlife (especially grizzly bear habitat) and newly discovered cultural and archaeological resources.
Overall, it appears that these decisions represent the park’s attempt to best protect the unique natural resources of the Moose-Wilson corridor while also allowing visitors an opportunity to have a high quality experience in the corridor, while taking steps to discourage the use of the road as a transportation corridor.
We thank the park for their continued openness in listening to our concerns and engaging in this transparent, science-based, and participatory process so that we best protect this special place.
Stay tuned for our comments on the preferred alternative and click here to read the DEIS for yourself.