Grizzly-Luring Berries Mean Moose-Wilson Road In Grand Teton National Park Could Close From Time To Time

Watching black bears munch away on juicy Hawthorne berries along the narrow Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park is one thing. But coming upon a grizzly doing the same is another, and so park officials say visitors should expect occasional closures of the road this month.

For example, last Friday the road was closed at 3:30 p.m. to travel because of grizzly bears coming down to munch on the berries. The road also was closed earlier in the day, from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., and then temporarily re-opened once the bears had moved away from the roadway.

And that pattern could be repeated throughout the month as long as there are berries for the bruins.

Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott in consultation with park law enforcement, wildlife biologists, and other park managers determined a closure was necessary for a variety of reasons, but most importantly for the protection of the grizzly bears foraging near the road.

The Moose-Wilson road is narrow, winding, and has thick vegetation in many areas, which all contribute to low visibility. These factors make it extremely difficult to safely manage a large wildlife jam on the narrow road corridor.

Throughout the fall of 2010 when many black bears were seen along the Moose-Wilson Road, the park monitored the situation and discussed several possible options for managing the presence of bears and other wildlife along the road in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations chapter 36 §1.5.

One of the options discussed was that the presence of grizzly bear(s) along the road might trigger a closure.

Local residents and park visitors are advised to plan ahead and use an alternate route because this temporary closure prevents the ability to make a 'through trip' on the Moose-Wilson Road, which runs between the park's headquarters at Moose and Wilson near the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. About 8 miles of the road are within the park's boundaries.

To alert travelers of the road closure, signs will be placed on Wyoming Highway 390. For motorists heading south to Teton Village from Moose, signs will also be placed near the junction of the Teton Park and Moose-Wilson roads.

Comments

I love to travel the Moose-Wilson road because it is a beautiful drive, but when visiting Grand Teton two weeks ago, I noticed the heavy traffic tieups due to bear spotting. We decided not to add to the congetion and just passed by (and thus missing our chance of seeing bears), but at some point with all the people gawking, lugging their cameras about, and parking all over the road, it seems that the animals are being harassed. It's a difficult situation, but the bears need to be protected from the tourists in this case.

Maybe we should just provide the bears with a supply of ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and fry sauce and tell 'em to have some tasty snacks. Might get some people's attention. Predators usually take the weakest or slowest -- might also help the human gene pool.

Amazing that GRTE has chosen an approach to protect the Grizz from the idiot human DUI drivers as
opposed to sending armed rangers along this scenic meandering road to kill any Griz daring to protect
its berry-elk-moose-deer food reserve or cubs. So, Why not close the road completely and allow
that high-end $ community to detour more to protect the Grizz habitat ?

I think its great that Grand Teton National Park is protecting the Grizzly Bears and other wildlife!! Isn't viewing wildlife in their natural habitats what makes our National Parks so enjoyable? Sure, visitors need to practice "caution", but its a small price to pay for the opportunity to visit our natural wonderlands and enjoy what is perfectly natural.
Donna L.Miller (former resident of Grand Teton National Park)

Fortunately i live in the area 7 months....and have follow GRIZZLY 399 sow and cubs since 2006 and had a intention to follow life and progress of her offspring GRIZZLY 610 who has now 3 cubs (1 adopted) [/b]....[b]for bear sakes and safety its good move to protect bears...but i strongly disagree that park decided to keep PHOTOGRAPHERS OUT....its not fair and its not for JOY OF THE PEOPLE...ARCH in GARDINER-YELLOWSTONE says for joy of people....WELL THIS IS NOT THE JOY....visitors spend thousands to come here and view wildlife.,.this is against any and all rules and regulations...ROCKFELLER who donated the land in the vicinity of MOOSE WILSON RD is turning in his grave..this is not meant to be closed and to out photograhers....LOOKS to me that GOV wants piece of pie..DONT WE PAY TAXES ENOUGH? Please give PHOTOGRAPHERS a brake..