Why would Grand Teton National Park move forward with a seasonal employee housing project that could kill bears and harm a vital wildlife movement corridor? This is a bad idea, especially when the Park could build employee housing in other locations that wouldn’t result in such harmful impacts.
Here’s the deal, as part of its Historic Properties Management Plan, the Park is proposing to restore and use cabins at the 4 Lazy F Ranch a mile north of Moose as housing for seasonal employees. Unfortunately, while we all recognize and appreciate the Park needs more housing for its employees, as stated eloquently by News & Guide columnist Cory Hatch, “species including elk, moose, bald eagles and grizzly bears frequent the ranch because the 4 Lazy F sits in prime riparian habitat at the juncture of three major migration corridors — the Snake River, Cottonwood Creek and Ditch Creek.”
This is why the Alliance sent in comments to the Park last year raising concerns about this proposal, as the Park’s own analyses and biological experts show this action will have significant negative impacts to wildlife.
Now, the Biological Opinion recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concludes that up to 3 grizzly bears could be killed and 4 grizzly bears could be relocated as a direct consequence of the Park’s actions to manage their historic properties.
Look, we all support the Park managing historic properties and finding ways to house their permanent and seasonal employees.
Here’s the thing, there are other more appropriate locations to advance this goal. There’s simply no reason to move forward with a project in a critical wildlife movement corridor that could result in dead grizzlies, hurt bald eagles, and make it harder for wildlife to move through the Park.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Park has worked hard on recent planning projects like the Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan to protect wildlife and habitat. They should take the same approach now.
Please write the Park today and tell them to rethink the 4 Lazy F project and find a less harmful way to address their housing challenge, like adding housing within the already developed area in Moose.
Click here to write the Park today.