Grand Teton gathering visitor data for Moose-Wilson planning

A view of Static Peak from the Moose-Wilson Road connecting Grand Teton National Park and Wilson, Wyo. (File photo by Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons - click to enlarge)

A view of Static Peak from the Moose-Wilson Road connecting Grand Teton National Park and Wilson, Wyo. (File photo by Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons – click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

Researchers have begun a four-month survey in Grand Teton National Park to learn more about how visitors use the Moose-Wilson road and surrounding areas.

Through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, researchers from  Utah State University will gather data through October, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office.

Data will be used to inform a planning process that will address future management of the corridor. Activities may include researchers asking visitors to answer questions about their travel patterns and use of park resources.

Research this summer will help determine visitor use patterns for trails, parking lots and other areas. A variety of data collection methods will be used, including providing some visitors who choose to cooperate with GPS units while they visit destinations in and travel through the Moose-Wilson corridor.

Additionally, researches will install cameras at key intersections to capture vehicle movement, and use data from traffic and trail counters to inform levels and patterns of use. Park officials say no personally identifiable information of visitors will be maintained.

A project leader has previously performed research in other National Parks including Yosemite and Rocky Mountain.

The National Park Service is initiating a National Environmental Policy Act planning process to create a comprehensive management plan for the Moose-Wilson corridor in Grand Teton National Park. The NPS has initiated internal scoping for the project and assembled a planning team. Later this year, the park service will begin the formal public engagement process and seek public scoping comments.

The Moose-Wilson corridor, located in the southwest corner of Grand Teton National Park, is a favorite visitor destination within the park that has a remarkable diversity of wildlife and habitat. These unmatched natural communities are located within a geographical area that is about seven miles in length, five miles in width, and 15,000 acres in size. The corridor is enclosed roughly by the Teton Range to the west, the Snake River to the east, the community of Moose to the north, and the park’s Granite Canyon entrance to the south.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or info@yellowstonegate.com.

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