Grand Teton seeks fence-mending volunteers for National Public Lands Day

Volunteers are sought to help with a project in Grand Teton National Park that will replace the bottom strand of barbed wire on fencing with smooth wire located higher off the ground, allowing pronghorn antelope to more easily pass underneath.

Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate

Volunteers are sought to help with a project in Grand Teton National Park that will replace the bottom strand of barbed wire on fencing with smooth wire located higher off the ground, allowing pronghorn antelope to more easily pass underneath.

In addition to free entry to Grand Teton National Park and the rest of America’s federally managed public lands on Saturday, Sept. 28, volunteers will work to modify a fence to benefit wildlife.

Grand Teton National Park will waive entrance fees (including commercial tour fees) on Sept. 28 in recognition of National Public Lands Day, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.

All national park sites typically offer free entry on National Public Lands Day in an effort to encourage individuals, families and communities to explore and appreciate America’s great outdoors.

But National Public Lands Day is also a time for individuals across America to volunteer their time and energy through beneficial projects.

In Grand Teton, volunteers can join the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association and park workers for a fence improvement project. Volunteers will modify an old fence on the Elk Ranch by replacing a lower strand of barbed wire with wildlife-friendly smooth wire.

The height of the wire will also be raised to enable pronghorn antelope to safely crawl under. Volunteers will also install wooden top rails and “calf jumps” to help bison, elk, moose and deer as they migrate across park land.

“Our heartfelt thanks go out to the many volunteers who have done extensive work to protect the health and safety of wildlife in and around Grand Teton,” said Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “Since 2002, more than 35 miles of barbed wire fence have been removed through the hard work of dedicated people who care deeply about this national park and its wild inhabitants.”

The project will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., however, all work is appreciated. Since parking is limited at the work site, volunteers are asked to meet at one of two carpool areas:  8:00 a.m. at Home Ranch parking lot or 8:15 a.m. at Gros Ventre junction.

Participants should wear long pants and appropriate footwear for hiking, and bring water, sunscreen, rain gear, a hat and sunglasses; lunch and work gloves will be provided.

To RSVP as a volunteer, please email [email protected]. For more information, go to http://www.jhwildlife.org.

National Public Lands Day is the only time that entrance fees are systematically waived on all federally managed public lands across America. Fees will be waived at national park units, as well as sites managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service areas. In addition to National Public Lands Day, United States veterans are admitted free to national parks each year during Veteran’s Day weekend in November.

Visitors are reminded that the fee waiver applies to entrance fees only and does not include use fees for camping or boating. For more information on fee-free opportunities in park units around the U.S., visit www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

The fee for a 7-day pass into Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks by single, private vehicle is normally $25.

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